Texas asks federal government to allow SNAP recipients to spend their money at restaurants amid coronavirus outbreak

9 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Wednesday, March 25 2020 Mar 25, 2020 March 25, 2020 11:52 AM March 25, 2020 in News - Coronavirus Pandemic

The state of Texas wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday, asking the federal government to allow SNAP recipients to spend their money at restaurants.

Wayne Salter, the deputy executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission wrote to Dwight Crudup, the regional director for the USDA, about the request.

"Texas is asking FNS to approve Texas’ request to implement a statewide Restaurant Meal Program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic," according to a copy of the letter, which Gov. Greg Abbott released on Wednesday. “This program will aid Texas in helping to ensure the preservation of the local food supply by allowing participating restaurants to accept SNAP benefits as payment."

The proposal would allow people who receive payments through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to spend their money at restaurants, including drive-thru and carry-out businesses open during the coronavirus outbreak.

"As we continue in our efforts to combat COVID-19, the state must do everything it can to make life more manageable for citizens and ensure that Texans can provide meals for their families," Abbott said in a statement. "This waiver will go a long way in doing just that. I urge the federal government to quickly approve this waiver, giving Texans another food option during this public health emergency."

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