Food Retailers Oppose SNAP Cuts in Proposed Federal Budget
In response to President Donald J. Trump’s budget proposal summary released this week, the food retail industry has expressed its concerns regarding cuts to a vital nutrition program.
“The president’s proposed budget seems to estimate that $2 billion in revenue to reduce expenditures on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would be generated for the first time, by imposing fees on retailers serving as the delivery mechanism for these benefits,” noted Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute. “As the president’s proposal, it is meant to message priorities the administration views as important, such as additional spending on defense. The Congress will work through its budget process and will include additional priorities to serve as the basis for an agreed-upon framework. As this process goes forward, we look forward to working with the administration, the Budget Committee and the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to address concerns to the food retail industry, including the flawed policy of imposing fees on food retailers in order to reduce the cost of the federal government’s nutrition assistance benefits to the most needy in our society.”
Although the National Grocers Association (NGA), also based in Arlington, was still looking at the proposed budget to assess its impact on the independent grocery sector, the organization affirmed the necessity of SNAP.
“While SNAP participation levels have decreased since the recession, the program still plays an important role in providing a safety net to those in need, including families with children, the elderly and the disabled,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA's SVP of government relations and public affairs. “America’s independent supermarket operators have long been partners with federal and state government entities in the SNAP food delivery system. Since the program’s inception, grocers have worked collaboratively with USDA, Congress, and industry partners to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the program.”