WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved Texas’ plan to provide SNAP benefits to households with children eligible for free and reduced price school meals, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) announced today.  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which Sen. Cornyn supported when it passed in March, required states to submit their plans for expanding SNAP benefits to these families to USDA.  Texas officials will distribute Pandemic – Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) cards to families with children whose schools were closed for at least 5 consecutive days during the emergency designation and who would have received free or reduced price meals.  Because distribution of school meals is limited due  to school closures, families with children in the school meals program be able to instead use EBT cards at grocery stores and online through the SNAP EBT program.

“During an already stressful time, many families find themselves without school meal benefits meant to provide nutrition and financial relief,” said Sen. Cornyn.  “Now, thanks to a coronavirus relief bill Congress passed in March, families of the two-thirds of Texas schoolchildren who receive school meals will get additional help putting food on the table.”