ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Time is of the essence for retailers to submit comments on proposed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations that could negatively impact convenience stores, making it crucial for retailers to register their concerns via the NACS webpage before tomorrow’s May 18 deadline.
The proposed changes would rewrite the requirements retailers must meet to be SNAP participants and would kick tens of thousands of c-stores out of the program. Once the comment period ends on May 18, the Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) will review all comments they receive and finalize the regulations before they go into effect. This is why it’s vital that retailers inform FNS about how the proposed rule will negatively impact their small businesses and ultimately hurt the SNAP beneficiaries who rely on those stores.
Those in favor of the changes have a derogatory view of what convenience stores offer to customers, as seen in the following comments published in the open docket on regulations.gov:
- “Often, people living in these areas shop in small bodegas and convenience stores, which mainly sell highly processed, energy-dense foods.”
- “…There are predatory gas station/convenience stores saturated all over the inner city where the merchants/owners stock outdated product [and] spoiled milk….”
- “Please require all stores, no matter the size, to provide organic foods.”
- “These regulations will provide SNAP recipients with greater access to nutrient-dense foods to be prepared at home.”
NACS needs your help to counter these anti-convenience store comments. Convenience store owners and operators must tell FNS why the rule is unworkable for small format retail stores and what this will mean for SNAP beneficiaries.
Many times, convenience stores are the only ones that are close by or open late at night where SNAP beneficiaries can quickly buy necessary food items for their families.
It’s very easy to submit comments, and all comments count! Visit the NACS webpage for instructions and a downloadable template—then file your comments today. Deadline for filing comments is tomorrow, Wednesday, May 18 at 11:59 pm ET.