Sneak Preview: Proposal Would Include Food Delivery Under SNAP

August 5, 2015 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xgran_bookshot(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has proposed to allow governmental and nonprofit food purchasing and delivery service providers, for the first time, to participate as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) retailers. However, such service providers would be required to meet specific requirements that could be considered more strict than those for current retail food stores.

The FNS proposal stems from regulatory changes under the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill) (Pub. L. 113-79), which amended the definition of retail food stores to include such services that provide food to households in which the head of the household is an individual who is unable to shop for food and is 60 years old or older, physically or mentally handicapped or otherwise enabled. “Expansion of the definition of retail food store to allow purchasing and delivery services to become authorized SNAP retailers is expected to increase accessibility to the program for homebound elderly and disabled persons,” FNS added.

Among the types of firms that currently can apply for authorization as a SNAP retailer include retail food stores, private nonprofit cooperative food purchasing ventures and farmers’ markets. Food purchase and delivery service providers would be included if the proposal is finalized. When determining whether it will authorize a firm as a SNAP retailer, FNS will review a firm’s application and assess whether it meets program requirements and whether its participation will further the purposes of the program.

As part of the proposal, FNS plans to authorize up to 20 service providers to participate in a one-year pilot program. The agency will use lessons learned from the pilot to help develop additional guidance for inclusion in the final rule on food purchase and delivery service provider participation.

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site).


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