Push from Casey Was Spurred by Constituent Call to His Office
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and grocery and retail association leaders to immediately work to ensure SNAP participants can receive home food delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. When his office received a phone call from a constituent who cannot safely leave home to travel to the grocery store, yet was denied home delivery as a SNAP recipient, Senator Casey urged USDA and retailers to act swiftly to address this problem so that SNAP participants may access healthy food safely and without barriers.
In the letter, Senator Casey wrote, “Traveling to a grocery store during this crisis is simply not possible for many SNAP participants, including seniors, immunocompromised individuals, families who lack reliable transportation and individuals with disabilities. We must do everything we can to address these barriers by leveraging existing flexibilities and partnering with the retailers who have the ability to provide much needed grocery delivery services to all who need it.”
USDA’s SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot makes it possible for SNAP participants to purchase grocery deliveries, but its availability is limited to only a few states. While this streamlined option cannot be immediately made available to all states, Senator Casey urged USDA to notify retailers of the flexibilities that do currently exist to make grocery delivery possible for all SNAP recipients who need it.
The letter to grocery and retail association leaders was sent to the following associations: Pennsylvania Food Manufacturers Association, National Grocers Association, National Association of Convenience Stores, Food Industry Association and Grocery Manufacturers Association.
A copy of the letter to USDA can be found here.
A copy of the letter to grocery and retail association leaders can be found here.