Gov. Abbott, Texas HHS Commission seeks to allow SNAP benefits at restaurants

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gestures to boxes of personal protective equipment during a press conference about the state's response to the coronavirus on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in Austin, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission have sent a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture in an effort to allow Texas Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to use their benefits at take out and drive-thru restaurants.

The letter comes as the state of Texas continues implementing new measures to combat COVID-19.

If approved, it 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 Abbott in the letter. “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.”

The letter was penned to Dwight Crudup, who is the Regional Director for the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).

“Texas is asking FNS to approve Texas’ request to implement a statewide Restaurant

Meal Program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter reads. “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.”