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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: May 15, 2020 08:35 AM
From: Representative Danilo Burgos
To: All House members
Subject: Expanding Access to SNAP Benefits in Local Businesses
Since March, many Pennsylvanian’s lives have been turned upside-down – job losses, hour reductions, and other financial hardships resulting in food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, our economy has all but ground to a halt in many areas as individuals and families do their part to stop the spread of the virus and keep themselves and their loved ones safe.
To help decrease food insecurity, increase access to local food, and promote local economic activity, I will be introducing legislation establishing the SNAP Benefits Start-Up Assistance Program under the Department of Human Services in partnership with the Department of Agriculture. This program would provide grants and low-to-no interest loans to make the technology to accept SNAP benefits more accessible and available to Pennsylvania’s farmers’ markets, direct marketing farmers, and independent grocery stores. This will allow these small and local businesses to not only compete with their big box competitors who have the means to purchase this technology, it provides more opportunities for Pennsylvanians to use their SNAP benefits.
Please join me in supporting this timely legislation to provide more options for SNAP beneficiaries and support Pennsylvania’s local businesses.

Introduced as HB2572