TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — An online petition has been created urging Governor Kelly to expand Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for Kansans.
The petition, started by Kansas Appleseed, an advocacy organization, asks for a few changes:
- The Online Purchasing Program allows for online grocery shopping with SNAP food assistance. States across the country are opting into the SNAP online purchasing program in May and June including states like Missouri, Iowa, Texas, and Idaho. Eight other states like Nebraska, Alabama, and Kentucky are already operating the program.
- The Restaurant Meal Program allows elderly, disabled, and homeless individuals to purchase prepared meals from participating restaurants. This program currently operates in Arizona, Rhode Island, Illinois, and California. States and advocates are requesting the USDA expand this program to new states.
- The Hot Prepared Food Waiver allows the purchase of more ready-to-eat food items during disasters. Many governors have asked USDA for the flexibility a Declaration of Individual Assistance and Disaster-SNAP would offer.
- The Elderly Simplified Application Project would increase participation among eligible seniors by streamlining the application and certification process. States like Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina have already implemented different aspects of the project.
“This is just existing flexibility that the USDA provides for states to do,” explained Joey Hentzler, Director of Advocacy with Kansas Appleseed.
According to Hentzler, expanding to include these options would not cost the state any additional money, but rather bring more money in.
“If more people are accessing SNAP and their food benefits are working better for them, they’re going to be spending more money in our local economies,” said Hentzler.
The petition is available to sign online. You can find more information and the letter that will be sent to Governor Kelly by clicking here.
“Really we’re just trying to show Governor Kelly that there is support for doing what is very Kansan, making sure that we are taking care of each other,” added Hentzler.