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Independent Grocer Testifies On Protecting SNAP Choice

NGA SNAP Choice

Michael Gay, owner and single-store operator of Food Fresh in rural Evans County, Georgia, testified before Congress May 22, warning that limiting SNAP choice would undermine the program’s effectiveness, create confusion for participants and impose a costly bureaucratic burden on small businesses nationwide.

“Restricting eligible items to those approved by the USDA will quickly drive up food costs and strangle the program with needless red tape,” Gay testified.

“With SNAP Choice, every American – regardless of their financial situation – can continue to feed themselves and their families in the way that works best for them.”

In February, nearly 2,500 grocers signed a letter to Congress opposing SNAP restrictions, including piloting this policy.

[RELATED: NGA Foundation Chosen To Advance SNAP Online Programs]

“We believe a SNAP restriction pilot would be just as harmful as a nationwide policy, and we strongly urge the committee to oppose any policy leading to the restriction of SNAP purchases,” Gay said.

“One of the many reasons this program is successful is the ease of processing SNAP transactions for retailers and beneficiaries who can make their own decisions on which food items to purchase for their household.”

Gay continued, “Restricting the choices of SNAP customers to items approved by the USDA will increase program implementation costs for the government and discourage business participation in the program. The government will need to categorize more than 600,000 products and thousands more each year to create and maintain a food code to determine what foods can be purchased with SNAP.”

About NGA

NGA is the national trade association representing retail and wholesale 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.

NGA members are located in every congressional district across the country, as well as state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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