Hayes, Fudge, Neguse Champion Bill to Expand SNAP Delivery During COVID-19 Pandemic

May 18, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Representative Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Nutrition Subcommittee Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH), and Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO) introduced the Increasing Access to SNAP Delivery During COVID-19 Act. This legislation would ensure SNAP participants, especially seniors and immunocompromised individuals, have access to home food delivery and curbside pickup during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced companion legislation in the Senate. 

“As this pandemic continues, more households across Connecticut are struggling with food insecurity. These families are facing financial constraint and must endure the stress of risking exposure every time they are forced to shop in person because they cannot afford to pay delivery fees for groceries,” said Congresswoman Hayes. “This is even more of a concern for seniors, immunocompromised individuals, or recipients who are living in food deserts and must travel to purchase groceries. Our legislation will offer critical funding to serve SNAP recipients while promoting social distancing. We will continue to push for the inclusion of delivery provisions in upcoming COVID-19 response packages.”

“Everyone, including SNAP participants, should be able to safely access the food they need. More must be done to ensure high-risk individuals are able to maintain reliable access to food while also maintaining social distancing guidelines,” said Senator Casey.  “The Increasing Access to SNAP Delivery During COVID-19 Act would support retailers in expanding their SNAP delivery offerings during the pandemic, allowing immunocompromised individuals and seniors to continue to stay at home as much as possible as advised by public health authorities.”

“As millions have lost their jobs or wages as a result of the current pandemic, many Americans are turning to nutrition assistance programs, like SNAP, to feed their families.  However, social distancing guidelines and stay at home orders have made it difficult and dangerous for many seniors, individuals with disabilities, and those who rely on public transit to travel to grocery stores,” said Rep. Fudge.  “During this public health crisis, we must ensure people who rely on SNAP are not forced to jeopardize their health or the health of their loved ones to receive daily meals.  I am proud to join Congresswoman Hayes in introducing this legislation to expand delivery options to vulnerable SNAP recipients.”

“As rising unemployment and economic uncertainty have caused many more to turn to nutrition assistance to get by, it is critical that families throughout Colorado and throughout the country who rely on food security programs like SNAP be able to easily access their benefits,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “It is imperative that we adapt the rules of these benefits to meet the pressing realities of our time and ensure our most vulnerable communities can access SNAP delivery services in order to get the items they need without risking exposure. I’m proud to introduce the Increasing Access to SNAP Delivery During COVID-19 Act to ensure that families across Colorado can keep food on the table and are properly equipped to weather this economic crisis.”

In March, Hayes and Neguse introduced a legislative package to protect and support children and families during this public health emergency. The legislation includes policies to support retailers’ capacity to provide SNAP deliveries. As this pandemic continues, the need to expand delivery services to SNAP recipients has become more clear.

The Increasing Access to SNAP Delivery During COVID-19 Act continues the effort to give more SNAP recipients access to delivery services by requiring USDA to implement the following:

  • Require USDA to promote alternative delivery options for SNAP participants;
  • Provide $500 million in funding to support retailers in delivery expansion;
  • Coordinate states’ plans to expand delivery options; and
  • Require a report to Congress regarding funding utilization.

Representatives Hayes, Fudge, and Neguse were joined by Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), and Darren Soto (D-FL).

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Rep. Jahana Hayes has been a public-school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.

Currently serving her first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District.