Washington, D.C. – The National Grocers Association is highlighting a significant achievement in Washington today as Congress, in bipartisan agreement, extended the prohibition on electronic benefits transfer (EBT) processing fees for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program plays a crucial role in enabling millions of Americans to access nutritious foods for their families.
NGA and its members have diligently 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 all over 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, vice president 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 appreciates that Congress has recognized this critical issue and will continue to fight to ensure that EBT processing fees are permanently prohibited in the next Farm Bill.