Texas governor wants SNAP recipients to be able to use benefits at restaurants

WACO, Texas (KWTX) Governor Greg Abbott, along with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, sent a letter Tuesday to the United States Department of Agriculture seeking permission to allow Texas Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to use their benefits at take out and drive-thru restaurants throughout the state.

The request comes as Texas continues to fight the spread of COVID-19. Approval would open up another food source for 3.2 million Texans.

"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,' said Governor Abbott.

"'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."

Abbott said the move could help "ensure the preservation of the local food supply by allowing participating restaurants to accept SNAP benefits as payment."

The governor said the State of Texas also wants to streamline the application process including, approval and agreement execution.

"We would also request FNS to expedite the necessary federal approvals and issuance of the required FNS certification number for restaurants to begin accepting SNAP payments," Abbott said.