Arlington, VA – The National Grocers Association (NGA) today applauded the advancement of H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, which included key policy provisions that focused on preserving and strengthening the public-private partnership between retailers and the federal government within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
As advanced from the House Agriculture Committee, H.R. 2, or more commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill, extends the temporary prohibition of processing fees on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) transactions as well as enhances the protection of highly sensitive store-level SNAP redemption data, and expands healthy eating incentive programs, such as the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program.
“Independent supermarket operators across the nation are committed to working collaboratively with USDA, Congress, and industry partners to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the SNAP food delivery system. NGA and its members appreciate the House Agriculture Committee’s recognition of the important role supermarkets play in the successful public-private partnership within the program,” said Peter Larkin, NGA president and CEO. “We are pleased to see it contains many of the provisions the independent supermarket industry has advocated for, but urge lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to pass a comprehensive Farm Bill that reflects bipartisan consensus,” added Larkin.
“We are grateful that Chairman Conaway and the House Agriculture Committee included many of our key provisions within the 2018 Farm Bill,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA EVP of advocacy, public relations and member services. “As the bill continues to advance in the House, NGA will be working with lawmakers to ensure that any proposals to limit consumer choice in the marketplace and put new administrative burdens and fees onto retailers are defeated.”
NGA will support Farm Bill legislation that maintains a strong public-private partnership between the federal government and the private retail sector in SNAP, reauthorizes and expands the FINI program and other healthy food incentive programs, and rejects any new fees or excessive reporting mandates.