Food and Nutrition
Grocery stores are a critical partner in federal nutrition programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Therefore, federal nutrition policy greatly affects NGA members, and it is critical that their voices are heard by Congress and the Administration. NGA is highly engaged on food and nutrition policy and works tirelessly to elevate the issues of its members.
SNAP is the largest federal nutrition program providing benefits to tens of millions of Americans every year. Grocery stores are a critical partner in this program as SNAP benefits can only be redeemed at SNAP-authorized retailers like grocery stores.
SNAP is authorized by the Farm Bill and every five years Congress looks at how the program can be improved. Changes in the Farm Bill can greatly affect how SNAP works in the grocery store and directly impact our members.
NGA has developed priorities for the next Farm Bill and is working to see those priorities become law.
Click here to read the details of NGA's Farm Bill priorities.
Healthy Benefits Cards
Healthy benefit cards offer a convenient way for eligible individuals to purchase groceries and over the counter drugs using their healthcare benefit. These cards are offered by some private health insurance companies and Medicare Advantage plans. More than 30 million Americans are now enrolled in Medicare Advantage programs, and at least 5 million participants are currently receiving hundreds of dollars on healthy benefit cards through their health plan. NGA has a multi-pronged approach to allow independents to accept healthy benefit cards funded by insurance companies.
WIC is the federal nutrition assistance programs targeted specifically for moms, kids, and babies. This program provides targeted nutrients to meet the needs of a growing family. Grocers are a critical partner as WIC benefits are redeemed at WIC-authorized retailers.
The WIC program is authorized by the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) legislation that is supposed to pass every five years. The last CNR was passed in 2010 and much has changed since then.
NGA is urging Congress to make updates to the WIC program to increase access and ease for participating families.
White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health
On September 28, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration hosted the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. At this conference, the Administration announced a National Strategy that identifies steps the government will take and catalyzes the public and private sectors to address the intersections between food, hunger, nutrition, and health.