Legislative update from Feeding Texas.
Feeding Texas reports that this year’s state legislative session has been the most successful one since the nonprofit food bank network formed more than 20 years ago. Significant milestones were achieved by passing legislation that enhances access to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and secures additional funding for food distribution.
These priorities included:
- Updating the SNAP Vehicle Asset Test: HB 1287 makes a one-time inflationary adjustment to the Vehicle Asset Test to better reflect today’s car values, increasing limits from $15,000 to $22,500 for the first car and from $4,650 to $8,700 for additional vehicles.
- Implementing pre-release SNAP registration: HB 1743 supports people exiting the criminal justice system by allowing eligible individuals to apply for SNAP before their release so that they have access to food upon release.
- Increasing funds for produce rescue: The Surplus Agricultural Products Grant helps food banks rescue surplus or unsellable produce from Texas farmers for distribution to hungry Texans. The network achieved a $10.2M increase in funding for the grant, doubling funds to $20.4M for the biennium.
- Exempting state transportation-related taxes and fees for food banks: HB 3599 will give food banks an exemption from fuel taxes and registrations for their fleets, meaning food banks can reinvest those costs into feeding their communities.
Thank you, Wilshire, for joining this united effort against hunger. Together, we are making a difference in the lives of Texans in need.