The National Grocers Association (NGA) sent a letter on behalf of the independent supermarket industry to Capitol Hill on Friday, March 2, urging opposition to the White House’s harvest box proposal, which would drastically change the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by replacing about 40 percent of SNAP benefits with a government run food delivery service.
The letter, which was signed by nearly 900 independent grocers from all 50 states, reads: “Instead of letting households use their SNAP benefits at their local grocery store, SNAP funding would be used to send eligible households a box of non-perishable food items. We believe that putting the government in charge of nutrition benefit distribution fails to appreciate the free-market, competitive efficiencies achieved through the successful public-private SNAP partnership.”
“Instead of pursuing radical changes to the SNAP program, we recommend that Congress build on its successes and work with food retailers to address our current challenges,” the grocers wrote. “Food access programs like the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program and the Healthy Food Financing Initiative have increased purchases of nutritious and healthful foods and helped supermarkets expand to underserved areas that lack access to quality food products. We also ask for your support for innovative e-commerce delivery solutions, such as the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot, which will allow SNAP beneficiaries to participate in the emerging online food retail marketplace.”
Click here to read the full letter and to see the list of grocers who signed it.