Some stores may get cut from food stamp program – news – the ledger – lakeland, fl

New federal regulations intended to promote healthy eating could make it harder to use food stamps at convenience stores — a change that opponents say will leave disadvantaged people with fewer places to buy groceries.

WASHINGTON — New federal regulations intended to promote healthy eating could make it harder to use food stamps at convenience stores — a change that opponents say will leave disadvantaged people with fewer places to buy groceries.

The standards proposed by the U.S. Electricity magnetism and electromagnetism Department of Agriculture would require retailers that accept food stamps to stock more and fresher varieties of food. Gas works park address But many convenience stores won’t be able to meet the requirements and will be forced from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as SNAP, or food stamps, critics say.

Mary Braddock frets that could happen to the convenience stores run by her family near Kansas City, Mo. Electricity vancouver wa Open from 5 a.m. Extra strength gas x while pregnant to 11:30 p.m., the Meiners Markets in Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs sell everything from bulk candy and beer to fresh fruit and vegetables. 9game Attached to gas stations, they’re handy pit stops for early risers and late-night shift workers, some of whom rely on food stamps to grab groceries on the go.

But Meiners Markets don’t have the shelf space to display the mandatory number of items at all times, and it will be too costly to stock all the unprocessed and perishable foods required, Braddock said.

Braddock and other critics of the USDA proposal — including Democratic and Republican lawmakers — complain the new standards will be impossible for many convenience stores and rural markets to meet.

“We don’t understand why USDA has drafted this proposed rule in a way that will make it so difficult for small stores to participate in SNAP and will make it harder for SNAP beneficiaries to get food,” Braddock said.

The impact would be felt especially in so-called food deserts in rural areas and urban centers, where big-box groceries are few and far between, said Anna Ready, director of government relations for the National Association of Convenience Stores, a trade association.

The USDA says the proposal is intended to ensure that SNAP beneficiaries have access to healthy food choices, especially in areas where they don’t have much choice about where to shop.

“It is disappointing to see some take a position against increasing healthier food options for our most vulnerable,” said USDA spokeswoman Cathy Cochran in a statement.

USDA drafted its proposal to codify language in the 2014 Farm Bill that required stores that accept SNAP to offer seven varieties of food items in each of four staple food categories. J gastrointest oncol impact factor Those categories are meat, poultry or fish; bread or cereal; vegetables or fruits; and dairy.

The law states stores must include at least one perishable item in three of those categories. Electricity and magnetism lecture notes This more than doubles the varieties of foods stores will have to stock to 28, a change convenience store owners say they do not oppose.

In particular, convenience store owners object to a new definition of what constitutes a staple food. Electricity labs high school Under the USDA’s proposal, products with more than two ingredients, such as soups or frozen dinners, no longer count.

Another major concern with USDA’s proposal is the requirement that six items from each of the seven food varieties must be displayed on a shelf at all times.

Ninety percent of small stores currently authorized to accept food stamps — about 175,000 stores nationwide — would need to add inventory items to meet the new requirements, according to USDA.

But that estimate could be too low, according to a letter submitted to USDA by the advocacy office of the U.S. Electricity in indian villages Small Business Administration.

In the letter, SBA officials predicted that initial compliance costs for each store could be closer to $600, and overall costs might exceed $4,000 per store.

“Our stores just don’t have the space,” she said. Gasco abu dhabi location “That means we’d have to have more in storage to continually replace anything that sells. Gas quality We’d have to make major changes to supply and delivery chains and also possibly to store layout and store space.”

Even stores that do meet the stocking requirements, she said, still could be deemed ineligible. Gas tax oregon That’s because USDA’s proposal disqualifies businesses with more than 15 percent of total food sales in items that are “cooked or heated on site before or after purchase.”

Among the proposal’s opponents is Kansas Sen. Frictional electricity examples Pat Roberts, the Republican chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Electricity will not generally cause Roberts says the standards would hurt both SNAP participants and small stores in Kansas and nationwide.

“Many Kansans who receive SNAP benefits live in rural areas where there is not easy access to food, and this proposed rule would make it more difficult to find nutritious food for these families,” Roberts said in a statement.

Republicans and Democrats alike have raised objections, Roberts pointed out: nearly half the Senate signed onto a letter to USDA that critiqued the proposal, including Democrats Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Bill Nelson of Florida, Patty Murray of Washington state, and Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont.