Our Advocacy and Government Relations team works on a statewide level to protect and expand federal and state nutrition, health, and economic opportunity programs to make sure that no Texan goes hungry.

Tarrant Area Food Bank is a member of two larger Food Bank networks, Feeding America and Feeding Texas. Feeding Texas works to educate our leaders on the realities of food insecurity in Texas and provide state and federal elected officials with critical data, timely analysis, and proven hunger solutions.

Our State of Texas public policy priorities

SNAP Benefits for Older Adults

Texas ranks as the 5th highest state for senior food insecurity, yet only 50% of eligible Texas seniors are enrolled in SNAP. Tarrant Area Food Bank (TAFB) is hopeful for relief being proposed in the 2021 legislative session which would streamline access to nutrition assistance for older Texans. A new SNAP bill would simplify the program’s lengthy application process for Texas households composed exclusively of older adults.

Surplus Agricultural Grant

The Texas Department of Agriculture cut $1.9 million from the Surplus Agricultural Product Grant, which helps food banks procure fresh produce from local growers. The cuts are aimed at satisfying a directive from the Governor to trim agency budgets by five percent. We work with Feeding Texas and our fellow food banks to encourage Texas Senators and Representatives to support reversing the FY20-21 $1.9M cut to the Surplus Agricultural Products Grant in the supplemental appropriations process.

Eliminate the Vehicle Asset Test for SNAP Enrollment

The SNAP program is our nation’s first line of defense against hunger and a means-tested program, meaning that applicants must have income below a certain level to qualify for assistance. Eligibility for SNAP is based on household size, income, citizenship status, and other factors. Texas also uses a Vehicle Asset Test to determine SNAP eligibility, which is a limit placed on the value of the vehicles that a household may own and still qualify for the program. The current limits are $15,000 for the first vehicle and $4,650 for the second or any additional vehicles. If a car’s value exceeds those limits, the excess value is applied to a liquid asset limit of $5,000 (e.g., cash in a savings or checking account). If an applicant’s total assets exceed this limit, they do not qualify for food assistance.

TAFB urges the Texas House and Senate to eliminate this outdated requirement, or reassess the value allowed on a second car based on 2021 estimates and not the previous, outdated asset limit.

Our Federal public policy priorities

Recommendations for the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health: