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H.R. 6688 (116th): SNAP COVID-19 Anti-Hunger Restaurant Relief for You Act of 2020


The text of the bill below is as of May 1, 2020 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


I

116th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6688

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 1, 2020

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture

A BILL

To modify the Restaurant Meals Program under the supplemental nutrition assistance program in response to COVID–19, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the SNAP COVID–19 Anti-Hunger Restaurant Relief for You Act of 2020.

2.

Restaurant meals program under the supplemental nutrition assistance program

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Covered period

The term covered period means the period beginning on the first day of the first month that begins after the date of enactment of this Act and ending on the last day of the month that follows the month in which the public health emergency declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 247d) on January 31, 2020, with respect to COVID–19, is lifted.

(2)

Program

The term program means the supplemental nutrition assistance program established under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.).

(3)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture.

(b)

Definition of food

Section 3(k) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2012(k)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by striking clauses (3), (4), (5), (7), (8), and (9) of this subsection and inserting paragraphs (3), (4), (5), and (7) through (10);

(2)

in paragraph (8), by striking and at the end; and

(3)

in paragraph (9), by striking the period at the end and inserting , and (10) in the case of households residing in an area for which a major disaster has been declared by the President under section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170), regardless of whether individual assistance has been authorized under such major disaster declaration, or a public health emergency has been declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 247d), meals prepared for and served by a public or private nonprofit establishment (approved by an appropriate State or local agency) that feeds such households and by private establishments that contract with the appropriate agency of the State to offer meals for such households at concessional prices subject to section 9(h)..

(c)

Temporary streamlining of State participation

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraph (2), during the covered period, the Secretary shall waive the requirements under section 11(e)(25) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2020(e)(25)) for a State plan of operation required under subsection (d) of that section.

(2)

Covered period

The Secretary may extend the covered period for the purpose of carrying out paragraph (1) if the Secretary determines that such action is necessary to prevent hunger in areas impacted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19).

(d)

Authorization of new retailers

(1)

In general

During the covered period, for the sole purpose of expanding the number and capacity of retail food establishments, including restaurants, authorized to accept and redeem program benefits in order to adequately serve households that are eligible to receive program benefits, the Secretary may waive any requirements under section 9 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2018).

(2)

No fees

Nothing in this subsection permits any retail food establishment, including a restaurant, authorized to accept and redeem program benefits to charge fees for the redemption of those benefits, including fees described in section 7(h)(13) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2016(h)(13)).

(e)

Contracts with private establishments

In the case of a contract that a State or the Federal Government enters into with a private establishment to offer meals at concessional prices under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.) that is effective on the day before the public health emergency described in subsection (a)(1) is lifted, if the Secretary determines, on or after the date on which the public health emergency described in subsection (a)(1) is lifted, that the participation of the private establishment is not necessary to meet a documented need in accordance with section 11(e)(25) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2020(e)(25)), the Secretary may—

(1)

allow the operation of the private establishment to continue without that determination of need for not more than 180 days following the date of that determination by the Secretary; or

(2)

terminate the contract and provide justification for the termination to the State in which the private establishment is located.

(f)

Report to Congress

Not later than 180 days after the public health emergency described in subsection (a)(1) is lifted, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate and the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives a report that includes—

(1)

a description of the effectiveness of this Act in—

(A)

increasing access to concessional meals during the public health emergency; and

(B)

preventing hunger and improving health and safety among program recipients described in paragraphs (3), (4), and (9) of section 3(k) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2012(k)); and

(2)

recommendations for additional statutory authority needed by the Secretary—

(A)

to prevent hunger among program recipients during any public health emergency or major disaster; and

(B)

to improve health and safety among program recipients during ongoing social distancing policies relating to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19).