Sending Office: Honorable Jimmy Panetta
I invite you to cosponsor the SNAP COVID-19 Anti-Hunger Restaurant Relief for You Act of 2020, or the SNAP CARRY Act, to help individuals struggling with food security access low-cost restaurant meals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The existing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Restaurant Meals Program (SNAP RMP) allows individuals who are homeless, elderly or disabled to use their food benefits to purchase prepared meals from a qualified participating restaurant, deli counter,
or store. The RMP prevents hunger in some of our most vulnerable communities by allowing people who may not have the ability or a place to prepare their own food to purchase discounted prepared meals at participating restaurants with their SNAP benefits. Currently,
participation in the RMP is voluntary for states and restaurants, and is open to any willing restaurant, regardless of size.
The RMP could serve as an important tool to support social distancing efforts, prevent hunger, and prevent job loss among restaurant employees, but statutory limits to the program present barriers to its use. The SNAP CARRY Act would lift these barriers
during times of crisis, making it easier for states who want to participate and helping our nation better respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Specifically, this legislation:
- Allows all individuals who are SNAP-eligible to utilize the RMP during a nationally declared disaster or public health emergency;
- Eases regulatory barriers on states participating in the program during emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Gives the Secretary of Agriculture broad authority to authorize additional food retailers to participate in SNAP and SNAP RMP during the COVID-19 emergency; and
- Establishes an option and process for RMP participating restaurants to end their participation after the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to providing a critical mechanism to augment food access points for our most vulnerable community members, the SNAP CARRY Act will help support local restaurants of every type – from the corner sandwich shop to sit-down restaurants with dozens
of servers and cooks – that are reeling from the shutdown and loss of customers.
When so many Americans are looking for ways to feed themselves and their families, and with so many restaurants seeking ways to continue serving their communities, the SNAP CARRY Act provides a common sense solution to a widespread problem.
Cosponsors: Rep. Alan Lowenthal
The following organizations endorse the SNAP CARRY Act: Congressional Hunger Center, The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), the National Restaurant Association, the National Council of Chain Restaurants, the Western Center on Law and
Poverty, Share Our Strength, California Association of Food Banks, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, Hunger Action LA, Community Action Partnership of Orange County, RESULTS, and Redwood Empire Food Bank.
These organizations also endorse identical legislation in the Senate, led by Senator Chris Murphy.
To cosponsor, please contact Riya Mehta (Riya.Mehta@mail.house.gov) in Congressman Jimmy Panetta’s office.
Member of Congress
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