East Texas Food Bank asks legislators to re-evaluate SNAP eligibility requirements
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - As part of the Feeding Texas network, the East Texas Food Bank is asking the Texas legislature to update one of its food assistance eligibility requirements.
In a statement put out on Wednesday, the Feeding Texas network, which consists of 21 food banks state-wide, has asked that lawmakers update the SNAP Vehicle Asset Test. While eligibility for SNAP is largely based on income and family size, Texas also has put in place the Vehicle Asset Test, which places a limit on the value of the vehicles a family may own and still qualify for food assistance. The East Texas Food Bank said that in the 26 counties served by the East Texas Food Bank, 500 East Texas households were denied SNAP in 2019, and that number grew to 2,399 East Texas households in 2022 due to the Vehicle Asset Test.
“This is a significant increase in denials in just a few years,” said Dennis Cullinane, CEO of the East Texas Food Bank. “More families are going without the food assistance they need because the Vehicle Asset Test has not kept up with the economy.”
“No family should lose their ability to put food on the table because of inflation in the car market,” said Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas. “Used cars have significantly increased because of the supply chain issues. As a result, many families that were previously approved for SNAP had their benefits taken away.”
Senator Cesar Blanco (D-El Paso) and Representative Ryan Guillen (R-Rio Grande City) filed companion bills in the Senate (SB 273) and House (HB 1287) that would index the SNAP Vehicle Asset Test to inflation to better reflect today’s car values.
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