Filtered by tag: #SNAP Remove Filter

TRA Remembers Joe Williams

  

Arlon Joe Williams Jr, 71, loved and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle passed away on July 25, 2020 from complications of COVID 19. He joins the Great Reunion and we know the Best is yet to come for him. Joe was born in Childress, Texas on June 4, 1949 to Arlon Joe Williams Sr and Peggy Ileyn Compton Williams. He grew up in Memphis, TX and graduated from Plainview High School in 1967 and then graduated from Texas Tech University in 1971 with a BBA.
He began his career with Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries while in college and continued with them until 1992. In 1994, he entered the pinnacle of his career with a move to the Gulf Coast Retailers where he served as President of Regulatory and Member Services until their merge with Texas Retailers Association in January of 2006. He was a member of the American Leadership Forum; the Food Marketing Institute; Government Relations Committee; Food Industry Association Board of Directors; Texas Interagency Task Force; and the Texas Attorney General’s Employer Task Force. He served on the advisory board for the University of Houston’s Retailing and Consumer Science Department. In 2004, he was appointed to the Maternal, Infant, and Fetal Nutrition National Advisory Council and was made chair of the Council for 2006. He also served as the President of his community’s municipal utility district and for many years served on the Board of the non-profit organization SEARCH. One of Joe’s greatest treasures was when he was awarded the NGA Spirit of America Award July 23, 2017. The award is one of the National Grocer Association’s top honors and recognizes individuals for their dedication and service to the independent supermarket industry. Their words still ring true – “Joe was a steadfast advocate for Texas grocers with a long history of serving both the supermarket industry and consumers alike.” Joe retired from the Texas Retail Association in 2018 and was enjoying his retirement from a long and well-respected career.

Joe is survived by the love of his life Jackie Gion Williams and they celebrated their 50th anniversary in October 2018. He is also survived by his daughter, JoLeigh Williams Haupt and husband Rob Haupt and son, Jeremy Clint Williams and wife Krista C. Williams. Poppa as known by most all was the hero of his beautiful grandchildren: Haleigh Rebecca Haupt and fiancée Tyler Kendrick; Holly Renee Haupt; and Harrison Haupt. He is also survived by his adopted children and grandchildren from Norway including Ingunn Hagen and children Stian Samdal and Nora Samdal. Also included in family is Marion and Gwen Gion of Rusk, TX and all the Gion extended family. Joe is also survived by his sister, Cindy Williams McCoy and husband Terry of Sugar Land, TX and sister-in-law Susie Williams Jones and her husband Griff Jones of Odessa, TX. Nieces and nephews include Reagan Williams Whytlaw (Brian), Abby Williams Bishop (Josh) of Odessa, TX. Also included Samuel Justin McCoy (Ashley) and Kelly McCoy Rainbolt (John) of Sugar Land, TX. He and Jackie spent many a day travelling to watch football games, cheerleader events, and any other thing that was requested by Poppa’s grandchildren. All family members would often participate in his love of hunting or fishing. His love of hunting was passed on from Daddy Joe and Joe took it a step further with his deep commitment to the Executive Hunting Club. He was on the board of directors since the 1980’s and enjoyed life- long friendships there.

Joe and Jackie shared a passion for their children, grandchildren, family and Jesus Christ our Lord. They built their rock on His foundation and were tireless in their commitment to their church Christ the King Lutheran Church. Joe and Jackie served in many capacities in the church and their community. One week Joe was leading a youth group mountain climbing in the Rockies and the next week hosting a backyard barbecue for Harrison’s football team. Joe would plan and devote entire family trips to making sure family understood his love of our country and God.

We will miss this man, this legend but know he is enjoying a good round of golf now with our Heavenly family. He was preceded in death by parents Joe and Peggy Williams; brother Nick Williams and many other Heavenly family members. In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests memorial contributions to the Joe Williams Scholarship Foundation at PO Box 1166 Huffman, Texas 77336, or the charity of your choice.

Joe Williams Celebration of His Life will be held:

Date: September 12, 2020
Time: 11:00am
Location: Christ the King Lutheran Church (Google Map)
                3803 West Lake Houston Parkway
                Humble, Texas 77339

New WIC Approved Foods for FY21

New WIC Approved Foods for FY21

Dear WIC Vendor Community,

Starting October 1, 2020, the Texas WIC Program will add new WIC approved foods to and remove some WIC approved foods from the Authorized Product List (APL).

Read More

Texas WIC Vendor Quarterly Webinar

Texas WIC Vendor Quarterly Webinar

Dear WIC Vendor Community,

Join us for the Texas WIC Vendor Quarterly Webinar for the latest updates.

Read More

Extension for Substitutions to WIC Approved Foods

To support our WIC community, Texas WIC is again extending the temporary lifting of restrictions for some food categories. The flexibilities, which were previously extended through June 30, 2020, have now been extended through July 31, 2020. These flexibilities should be utilized only when prescribed food items are unavailable. The temporary WIC food substitutions are listed below.

Temporary Flexibilities Extended Through July 31, 2020

Read More

SNAP Online Pilot Program

Kentucky, Missouri, and Texas Added to Innovative SNAP Online Pilot Program
USDA is expanding access to innovative online food purchase program

(Washington, D.C., April 21, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced approval of requests from Kentucky, Missouri, and Texas to provide online purchasing of food to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households. This approval will allow the States to expedite the implementation of online purchasing with currently authorized SNAP online retailers with a target start date to be announced at a later time. Kentucky’s SNAP participation is over 500,000 individuals, more than 225,000 households, and totals nearly $750 million annually in federal funding. Missouri’s SNAP participation is nearly 650,000 individuals, nearly 300,000 households, and totals nearly $1 billion annually in federal funding. Texas’ SNAP participation is over 3.2 million individuals, more than 1.4 million households, and totals nearly $5 billion annually in federal funding. This announcement further demonstrates President Trump’s whole of America approach to fighting the coronavirus pandemic by ensuring those affected are fed.

Background:
The SNAP online pilot is currently operational in Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, and Washington State. The authorized retailers working with all pilot states are Amazon and Walmart, while Wrights Market and ShopRite are working with Alabama and New York respectively. USDA previously announced Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, North Carolina, the District of Columbia, and West Virginia would also be joining. With these 16 states, more than half of all households receiving SNAP will have access to online purchasing.

Though the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is receiving interest to expand the SNAP online pilot program, the responsibility is on state agencies, their third-party processor, and any retailers who wish to participate. To ease the process, FNS put together a simplified template for states who wish to enter the online pilot which is provided as an attachment to this letter.

USDA continues to provide significant technical assistance to interested states to ensure that plans are thorough and appropriate preliminary testing is conducted. If not done properly and judiciously, there is a risk to the State’s entire benefit system. Each State, its EBT processor and retailers present their own mix of challenges so FNS is providing customer service based on each of their specific needs.

FNS will continue to work with interested states in advancing their participation in this pilot. Until States are prepared to operate the pilot, USDA recommends States utilize other options that retailers may already provide, such as Pay at Pick-up (also known as “Click and Collect”), where SNAP cardholders can shop online and then pay for their purchase using their EBT card at pick-up. Grocery pickup is already an option that these retailers offer beyond SNAP so they are already thinking through how they can provide a safe environment to do so with the growing concerns around social distancing.

During these challenging times, FNS is working hand-in-hand with state program leadership, to provide support and guidance to adapt to the challenges of this public health emergency. USDA intends to use available program flexibilities and contingencies to continue to serve our program participants. For up to date information and to learn more about flexibilities being used in FNS nutrition programs, please visit the FNS website.

WIC/SNAP: EBT Outage Notifications

As part of continuous systems updates, the EBT-4 vendor may have planned outages.  Retailers can sign up to receive email or text message notifications about Texas EBT-4 planned outages at: 

https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/TXHHSC/subscriber/new

Read More

Texas WIC Vendor Monitoring Suspended

Dear Texas WIC Vendor Community,

Due to the flexibilities around monitoring permitted by USDA, Texas WIC Vendor Management and Operations Unit (VMO) is immediately suspending the following activities:

Read More

Coronavirus WIC Update

    The Texas Health & Human Services Commission will be publishing a Vendor News Flash in the near future regarding WIC purchases during this critical time due to measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

-Suspending LEB requirements.  Retailers may sell any items in the LEB category that are on the APL and on the customers’ prescription without fear of an LEB violation (the 85% policy).

Read More

USDA Issues Final Regulation on ABAWD SNAP Recepients

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a final rule that would make it more difficult for states to gain waivers for work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) who are beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Current SNAP statute limits adults to three months of benefits within a three-year period unless the individuals work or participate in work training for 20+ hours per week. States have had the ability to apply for waivers that would shield able-bodied adults without dependents from the time limit included in these federal work requirements. States can currently receive waivers for work requirements if their unemployment rates are at least 20 percent higher than the national rate. The final rule will retain states’ statutory flexibility to waive the time limit in high unemployment areas but will impose stricter standards for the waivers.

  • USDA is amending its regulations to provide a stricter definition of an “area in which the individuals reside,” to redefine the criteria for an area to have “an unemployment rate of over 10 percent,” and to redefine what it means for an area to “not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide employment for the individuals.”
The final rule will take effect on April 1, 2020 and is purported to remove 750,000 individuals from the SNAP program.
The final rule applies to SNAP recipients ages 18-49 who do not work or have dependents. Excluded from the rule are children, parents with children under the age of 6, those over the age of 50, individuals with a disability, and pregnant women.

Click here to view the final rule. USDA’s fact sheet outlining the final rule is available here.
For Frequently Asked Questions and Reponses from USDA, please follow this link.

Texas HHSC comments on SNAP eligibility rule

During a recent call with Texas Health and Human Services Commission, TRA referenced a study noted in the link here.  This study indicated a new eligibility  rule which would impact the number of families eligible for SNAP in Texas.  TRA will continue to monitor the issue and give guidance to food retailers regarding potential SNAP sales impact in 2020. "HHSC is currently reviewing the proposed rules, but has not made available any information on the impact to Texas distribution", says Duane Pietsch, Lone Star Business Services/ EBT. "It is my understanding that because the rules are only proposed at this time, HHSC cannot speak to impacts, and not likely do so until the rules are finalized by FNS."

Texas food banks ready to help families impacted by government shutdown

More than 3.5 million Texans will get their February SNAP benefits early because of the partial government shutdown.

The Texas Health and Human Services on Sunday announced that the February SNAP benefits will be issued early. The state said current SNAP recipients will get February benefits automatically loaded onto their Lone Star Cards by Jan. 20.

Read More