Gov. Edwards asks President Trump to make temporary changes to SNAP, CDBG, HUD and FEMA programs in response to COVID-19

Gov. Edwards asks President Trump to make temporary changes to SNAP, CDBG, HUD and FEMA programs in response to COVID-19
Photo of empty grocery store shelves during the coronavirus pandemic. (Source: CNN)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards sent a letter to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence Wednesday, March 18 requesting temporary changes to several federal programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As this crisis advances, we are continuing to evaluate and assess the impacts of the disaster, and to foresee coming impacts. It is clear that we will need to provide assistance for businesses and their employees as a result of the necessary mitigation efforts we are putting in place," Gov. Edwards said. "We are working around the clock to stop the spread of COVID-19 so we can protect our people's health, as well as the jobs they depend on, but we still have far to go, and I am asking for the continued support of the federal government as we seek every available tool for this fight."

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Some of the changes Gov. Edwards requested include:

- An expansion of the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service hot food waiver to allow the purchase of hot food in Louisiana restaurants through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

- Statutory change through congressional action in addition to relaxing some administrative constraints on Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for Disaster Recovery.

- Eliminating some restrictions in the Department of Housing and Urban Development's CBDG-State's program.

- Recommendations for FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program and Public Assistance program

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