WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJZ) — Five federal lawmakers representing Baltimore sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture asking for an investigation into the withdrawal of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eligibility for vendors at Lexington Market.
The lawmakers, including Congressmen Elijah Cummings, Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes as well as Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, said a number of retailers in the public market have been denied eligibility for SNAP, commonly known as food stamps.
A number of other retailers are coming up for review and may also be ruled ineligible, the group said.
“The area in which Lexington Market operates is a historically low-income, food- and transportation-scarce area in which residents – many of whom already expend a higher proportion of their income to meet their basic needs – sometimes require nutrition assistance. Therefore, it is critical to have local retailers that provide healthy, accessible food for residents of the area – as well as the city as a whole – through the SNAP program,” the lawmakers said in the letter.
The lawmakers asked the USDA to work with vendors and the community to make sure area residents have access to healthy and affordable food.