Last updated on April 1st, 2016 at 09:49 am
The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) and its Florida Grocers Association (FGA) division are reminding retailers and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients that the monthly distribution dates for the program increase from 15 days to 28 days, effective April 1. FRF and FGA were involved in pushing for this legislation, which took place during the 2015 session. The groups say the move will benefit both customers and retailers by allowing for better selection, inventory control and customer service. SNAP benefits go to 3.6 million Floridians and represent nearly $5.5 billion in economic impact to the state’s economy.
“This extension of SNAP benefits means recipients will have more access to healthy food and fewer of those important items out of stock by allowing grocers and retailers to better spread out their inventory over the 28 days, as opposed to the previous rush that would occur when the schedule was just 15 days,” said FRF President and CEO Randy Miller. “We want to thank Speaker Pro Tempore Matt Hudson for his hard work in recognizing the negative impact this issue had on both consumers and business owners by creating this important legislation and making a positive impact on our communities. We also want to recognize the Department of Children and Families for the seamless implementation of these distribution dates throughout the state.”
The FRF and FGA say the expansion will lead to:
• Better selection: For many SNAP recipients, transportation to the grocery store can be a challenge, and having items out of stock requires they return for another shopping trip.
• Better customer service: By spreading SNAP distribution, grocery stores are able provide better customer service by not having as many customers concentrated in a shorter time frame, thereby providing more help and attention to SNAP customers.
• Better inventory control: Retailers will be able to reduce out-of-stock items and reduce some of the pressure of having enough products for the SNAP customer.
• More consistent workforce: Previously, retailers had difficulty scheduling properly due to so much concentration of business in the first half of the month.