Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is a food assistance program giving millions of low-income Americans access to food across all retail channels, including small format stores, including convenience stores. Convenience stores provide critical access to food for many SNAP beneficiaries who may live in “food deserts” with limited access to larger food retailers.

An Obama Administration USDA rule contained a number of problematic provisions that would have eliminated many convenience stores – and the distributors that serve them – from eligibility in this important program. The final rule made some significant positive changes that were sought by CDA, NACS and other stakeholders. However, the rule still contains some provisions which may be a hardship on some in our industry along with the SNAP beneficiaries.

Reforms to the SNAP program have been proposed over the last several Congresses, with legislators interested in limiting the types of food and the types of retailers who can accept SNAP benefits. SNAP is authorized through the Farm Bill, the legislative package considered every five years to fund hunger, nutrition and farm programs. CDA will work closely with allies in Congress, and aligned interests in the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill to assure that no restrictions on use of SNAP benefits are included.

For more information on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), visit the USDA website.