The National Grocers Association (NGA) is highlighting a significant achievement in Washington as Congress, in bipartisan agreement, extended the prohibition on EBT processing fees for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
NGA and its members have advocated for the extension of the ban on EBT processing fees, and lawmakers have included this provision into the latest one-year extension of the 2018 Farm Bill within the recently passed continuing resolution.
Independent grocers from across the country shared their stories about how EBT processing fees would have been cost-prohibitive for many community and family-owned grocery stores, especially those that serve urban, rural and other high-need areas where residents rely on SNAP. If EBT processing fees were allowed, stores of all sizes would have been forced to pay new fees on EBT transactions, which would likely reduce the number of participating retailers in the program.
“As transaction fees continue to grow across the entire retail sector, it is critical that federal programs are kept out of this battle ensuring broad access to critical programs like SNAP,” said Stephanie Johnson, VP of government relations.
“We are grateful to the thousands of NGA members who actively participated in the political process to ensure this important issue was addressed and achieved a victory for the independent supermarket industry.”
NGA plans to continue fighting to ensure that EBT processing fees are permanently prohibited in the next Farm Bill.
NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale community grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately-owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats.
The independent grocery sector is accountable for about 1.2 percent of the nation’s overall economy and is responsible for generating more than $250 billion in sales, 1.1 million jobs, $39 billion in wages and $36 billion in taxes. Members include retail and wholesale grocers located in every congressional district across the country, as well as state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers.
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