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Chair Fudge on Coronavirus Response: CR-SNAP will Provide Stability

Washington, March 14, 2020
Chair Fudge on Coronavirus Response: CR-SNAP will Provide Stability
WASHINGTON – Ohio Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, Chair of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations, welcomed the inclusion of the COVID-19 Response Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or CR-SNAP, in legislation to speed the response and availability of resources as the Federal government tackles the expanding coronavirus pandemic:

“As we work to address this pandemic, I am glad we were able to strike a deal that ensures families across the country on SNAP continue to receive their benefits,” said Fudge. “We look forward to working with USDA on this provision that makes sure working families and our most vulnerable get the food they need and are able to prepare for this serious situation like everyone else. While this marks a step in the right direction, there is more we must do to prevent people from going hungry and experiencing hardship during this uncertain time.”

CR-SNAP makes quick and temporary changes to SNAP to ensure benefits are sufficient and available in the event of quarantines, store closures, reduced staffing in state and local government offices, closure of schools, and temporary job and wage loss.

CR-SNAP suspends the work and work-training requirements for SNAP during the pandemic. The program also allows states to request special waivers from the Agriculture Secretary to provide temporary, emergency benefits up to the maximum monthly allotment, permitting recipients to stock up at the grocery store before any quarantine, and help deal with price increases for eligible food.

CR-SNAP also requires USDA to keep the public informed by posting all waiver requests, any decisions on those waivers, and any guidance issued 10 days after each instance on the Department website. The measure also instructs the Agriculture Secretary to provide a report 18 months after the emergency documenting the decisions made in the operation of this authority.

Finally, CR-SNAP gives broad discretion to the Agriculture Secretary to provide much more flexibility for states to manage SNAP caseloads, including more time between periodic reports; allowing more methods of issuance; and a simplified interview process. 
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