In an industry that averages less than 2 percent profit margin annually, those engaged in food retail must evaluate every investment, including their commitment to participate as a SNAP partner, to ensure that it’s backed by a clear business case. SNAP-authorized retailers invest significant resources to become eligible to participate in the program. Each authorized retailer must purchase its unique point-of-sale equipment and software, train associates and comply with strict retailer stocking and administrative requirements.
Notably, food retailers are also making capital investments to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s online SNAP pilot, given their desire to invest resources in emerging technologies that serve all of their customers. However, any additional fees, reporting mandates or other administrative costs will divert these resources and limit or destroy those investments.
As work continues to reauthorize SNAP in the next Farm Bill, it’s critical that Congress protect the foundation of our partnership and resist the urge to impose additional costs or cumbersome administrative mandates on retailers. To uphold the program’s efficiencies and keep costs down for all shoppers, we must maintain the current ban on interchange fees in SNAP, prohibit the imposition of any transaction-processing fees on retailers by state-contracted EBT processors, and oppose excessive reporting mandates or new fees.
The food retail industry feeds more than just families – it sustains SNAP as a respectful steward of the government program.