WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined a bipartisan group of colleagues, led by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), in calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to immediately work to ensure SNAP participants can receive home food delivery and curbside pickup during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the letter to USDA, the Senators wrote, “The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented rise in unemployment and a subsequent increase in demand for food assistance. At the same time, social distancing guidelines and stay at home orders have made it challenging—and unsafe—for many individuals to travel to purchase food. This is especially true for seniors and immunocompromised individuals who are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, as well as individuals with disabilities and families who lack reliable transportation. We believe that no individual or family should be disadvantaged simply because they rely on SNAP benefits to access the food they need.”
USDA’s SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot makes it possible for SNAP participants to purchase grocery deliveries, but its availability remains limited to the states and retailers who have opted in to the program. In addition to expanding the Online Purchasing Pilot, the Senators urged USDA to answer key questions and to maximize the alternative mechanisms that exist to facilitate delivery for SNAP participants.
In addition to Baldwin and Casey, the letter was also signed by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Angus King (I-ME), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patty Murray (D-WA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Ed Markey (D-MA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
A copy of the letter can be found here.
An online version of this release is available here.