Section 9(a) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended, (the Act) (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.) requires that FNS determine the eligibility of retail food stores and certain food service organizations to accept SNAP benefits and to monitor them for compliance and continued eligibility and to ensure Program integrity.
FNS is also responsible for requiring updates to application information and reviewing retail food store applications at least once every five years to ensure that each firm is under the same ownership and continues to meet eligibility requirements. The Act specifies that only those applicants whose participation will “effectuate the purposes of the program” should be authorized.
There are six forms associated with this approved Office of Management and Budget (OMB) information collection number 0584-0008—the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Application for Stores, Forms FNS-252 (English and Spanish) and FNS-252-E (paper and online version respectively); Farmer's Market Application, Form FNS-252-FE; Meal Service Application, Form FNS-252-2; Reauthorization Application, Form FNS-252-R; and the Corporation Supplemental Application, Form FNS-252-C used for individual (chain) stores under a corporation. For new authorizations, the majority of applicants use form FNS-252 or FNS-252-E (paper or online, respectively). FNS is responsible for reviewing retail food store applications at least once every five years to ensure that each firm is under the same ownership and continues to meet eligibility guidelines. In order to accomplish this regulatory requirement, form FNS-252-R is used for reauthorization. In addition to these forms, during authorization or reauthorization, FNS may conduct an on-site store visit of the firm. The store visit of the firm helps FNS confirm that the information provided on the application is correct. An FNS representative or store visit contractor obtains permission to fill in the store visit checklist, photograph the store and asks the store owner or manager about the continued ownership of the store.