SNAP Regulation Updates And What They Mean
The $74 billion dollars regulated to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, are being restructured. Current regulations were redesigned at the end of 2016 by the United States Departments of Agriculture, or USDA. The new regulations require more stores to stock healthier food like fruits and fresh vegetable and less prepared meals like microwavable dinners.
The changes have set up a competition between big brand stores and smaller mom and pop shops. The adaptations will be easier to handle for large corporate stores like Kmart and Walmart because they have more shelf space. The story is a bit different for smaller shops. These small shops have less storage to take care of the increased demand for healthy foods, and their sales could suffer the consequences. Due to this struggle, small stores might have to stop giving out SNAP benefits. This could change the larger scale of those individuals that receive SNAP because they have less options on where to buy food.
These changes ask that small stores take in more items like milk and tofu to help meet the requirements of the new food stamps. Unfortunately, these items just aren’t selling and cause many stores to lose out on money. These new requirements also ask these small stores to store around 160 more items to be able to be food stamp functional. This is a tremendous expense, and an expense that many stores will not be able to handle.
Though the government understands these changes are a tremendous undertaking, their aim is to provide healthier options to low income people. They also want to ensure that tax payers dollars aren’t simply going to junk food. The changes double the healthy food options provided at stores, specifically contributing a larger choice of fruits, vegetables, breads, dairy and meat. Both parties in Congress vary on their opinions of these changes. Thousands of letters have been received from stakeholders asking that this change not be made. The changes would be the largest adjustments made in SNAP history.
The eventual goal, put in place by the Obama administration, is to cease restaurant from providing SNAP and to keep SNAP sales consisting of less than 15% of a store’s sales. Since the changes face controversy, the changes lay in limbo, but the end goal of providing poor people with healthy food option remains the main focus.