Notice; Extension Of Comment Period:
Sections 3(k), (p) and (r), Section 7, and Section 9 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (“the Act”), and Title 7 Parts 271, 274, and 278 of the Code of Federal Regulations (“the regulations”) provide factors for determining the eligibility of retail food stores to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”). This notice requests information from any and all interested parties on opportunities to enhance retailer definitions and requirements in a manner that improves access to healthy food choices for SNAP participants as well as program integrity, and ensures that only those retailers that effectuate the purpose of SNAP are authorized to accept benefits. The Food and Nutrition Service (“FNS”) considers access to a variety of healthy foods at SNAP retailers to be fundamental to the effectiveness of this critical nutrition assistance program. FNS is requesting information to understand what policy changes and, as needed, statutory changes, should be considered for retailer authorizations. FNS will use this information in determining how to make positive progress in the available healthy choices for program participants at authorized SNAP retail stores. The comment period is being extended to provide additional time for interested parties to review this request for information.