State bill filed to add name, photo to SNAP cards

(Source: KGBT Photo)

There are over 363,000 SNAP recipients throughout the Rio Grande Valley that are on government assistance to purchase food.

Now, one State Representative wants to make sure those food stamps cards stay with their owners.

According to SNAP, The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area is the region which has the most people on food stamps in the entire nation with 30 percent of households receiving assistance.

Texas State Rep. Dade Phelan filed House Bill 1250, which calls for the food stamp recipient's name and photo to be added to their card.

Valley residents agree the photo would help prevent people from lending out their food stamp card of even exchanging it for cash.

"I think it's a great idea. It keeps from fraud and stuff like that so yeah, I'm all for that," said Elias Cavazos, who lives in the RGV. "I think it's a great idea this way people can’t sell their food stamps."

The bill would also place a fraud hotline number on the back of the card for cashiers to call if they suspect illegal activity.

"That’s a great idea so they can identify the card and who it belongs to and not be doing fraud of any kind," said Lucy Ramirez, another RGV resident.

State officials would also be required to monitor how often recipients ask for replacement cards.

If approved by the Texas State Legislature, the bill would take effect on Sept. 1, 2019.

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