The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) proposes to make changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations pertaining to the eligibility of SNAP retail food stores.
The Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) amended the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (the Act) to increase the requirement that certain SNAP authorized retail food stores have available on a continual basis at least three varieties of items in each of four staple food categories, to a mandatory minimum of seven varieties. The 2014 Farm Bill also amended the Act to increase, for certain SNAP authorized retail food stores, the minimum number of categories in which perishable foods are required from two to three. This proposed rule would codify these mandatory requirements.
Further, using existing authority in the Act and feedback from a Request for Information that included five listening sessions in urban and rural locations across the nation and generated 233 public comments, FNS is proposing several additional changes. Among other items, these proposed changes address depth of stock, amend the definition of staple foods, and amend the definition of retail food store to clarify when a retailer is a restaurant rather than a retail food store. The rulemaking also proposes that FNS begin disclosing to the public specific information about retailers who have violated SNAP rules.
Update: FNS recently submitted to the Office of the Federal Register a clarification of the proposed rule and an extension of the comment period to May 18, 2016. The version submitted is linked below. The official version will be available at www.federalregister.gov and www.regulations.gov, and may differ slightly from this version.