Food Assistance Programs

The grocery industry, through direct interaction in our stores and our employees, plays the critical front-line role in the shopping experience of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) customers.

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Families First Coronavirus: Summary of SNAP Provisions


The Families First Coronavirus response bill that President Trump signed into law included several provisions to help individuals and families who rely on federal feeding programs such as SNAP and WIC. We've provided brief descriptions of the provisions and the potential impact they could have on your SNAP shoppers.

SNAP and WIC Blog Posts

How Feeding Assistance Programs Continue to be Resilient in Challenging Times

By: Hannah Walker, Vice President of Political Affairs, FMI  

20171205-FMI-Store Shoot-1173r-LowResIn times of emergency, we realize the true resiliency and effectiveness of an established private-public partnership. Our industry continues to work 24/7 to replenish and restock shelves, while ensuring the cleanliness of stores and the safety of its associates. Amid keeping things moving, the needs of all our customers and partners – including WIC and SNAP shoppers – remain top priority. 

With that being said, FMI has actively pursued the extension of P-EBT as it has proven to effectively reach children who would typically receive free or reduced school lunches, but are missing these meals due to their schools being closed or operating with reduced hours because of COVID-19. 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, established the P-EBT feeding program to allow families that typically rely on the school lunch program for meals and snacks during the regular school day to receive benefits they can redeem at their locally licensed SNAP grocery store to buy food. P-EBT allows states to add additional benefits to a family's SNAP card and issue new cards to those not participating in SNAP to cover the cost of the missed school meals. Integrating P-EBT into the SNAP system ensures customers can redeem their benefits at their local grocery store, where they already shop, without increased burden for all stakeholders. This process did not require any additional programming or operational changes for SNAP retailers and has worked well in our members' operations. 

Today, over a dozen states have been approved for August and September P EBT during the new school year. We commend the House for extending the very successful P-EBT children's feeding program in its bipartisan FY21 continuing resolution stop-gap funding bill. In addition to extending P-EBT authorization, the legislation creates flexibilities to include schools that have adopted hybrid school schedules such as fewer days a week in-person attendance and reduced hours. Furthermore, the bill smartly expands P-EBT to include childcare facilities. These changes will help ensure that no child goes without vital nutrition.  

While much has been done to ensure families have access to food, more can always be accomplished. To help in this effort, FMI created a video that retailers can leverage to help families access benefits and navigate the SNAP/P-EBT shopping experience.  

We are urging the Senate to move quickly and pass H.R. 8337 – Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 which reauthorizes P-EBT as Americans continue to recover from this uncertain time. 

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Federal Questions?

For questions or more information regarding federal legislation, please contact FMI’s Vice President, Political Affairs, Hannah Walker

Contact Hannah
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State Questions?

For questions or more information regarding state legislation, please contact FMI's Senior Director of State Government Relations Elizabeth Tansing. 

Contact Elizabeth

SNAP Food Retail Resources

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly the food stamp program, has become the largest food assistance program in the United States, serving over 46 million Americans. SNAP benefits are administered jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and state welfare agencies.

How Feeding Assistance Programs Continue to be Resilient in Challenging Times

By: Hannah Walker, Vice President of Political Affairs, FMI  

20171205-FMI-Store Shoot-1173r-LowResIn times of emergency, we realize the true resiliency and effectiveness of an established private-public partnership. Our industry continues to work 24/7 to replenish and restock shelves, while ensuring the cleanliness of stores and the safety of its associates. Amid keeping things moving, the needs of all our customers and partners – including WIC and SNAP shoppers – remain top priority. 

With that being said, FMI has actively pursued the extension of P-EBT as it has proven to effectively reach children who would typically receive free or reduced school lunches, but are missing these meals due to their schools being closed or operating with reduced hours because of COVID-19. 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, established the P-EBT feeding program to allow families that typically rely on the school lunch program for meals and snacks during the regular school day to receive benefits they can redeem at their locally licensed SNAP grocery store to buy food. P-EBT allows states to add additional benefits to a family's SNAP card and issue new cards to those not participating in SNAP to cover the cost of the missed school meals. Integrating P-EBT into the SNAP system ensures customers can redeem their benefits at their local grocery store, where they already shop, without increased burden for all stakeholders. This process did not require any additional programming or operational changes for SNAP retailers and has worked well in our members' operations. 

Today, over a dozen states have been approved for August and September P EBT during the new school year. We commend the House for extending the very successful P-EBT children's feeding program in its bipartisan FY21 continuing resolution stop-gap funding bill. In addition to extending P-EBT authorization, the legislation creates flexibilities to include schools that have adopted hybrid school schedules such as fewer days a week in-person attendance and reduced hours. Furthermore, the bill smartly expands P-EBT to include childcare facilities. These changes will help ensure that no child goes without vital nutrition.  

While much has been done to ensure families have access to food, more can always be accomplished. To help in this effort, FMI created a video that retailers can leverage to help families access benefits and navigate the SNAP/P-EBT shopping experience.  

We are urging the Senate to move quickly and pass H.R. 8337 – Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 which reauthorizes P-EBT as Americans continue to recover from this uncertain time. 

WIC Food Retail Resources

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is another Federal program that ensures women and children in need have access to affordable, quality food and nutrition.

How Feeding Assistance Programs Continue to be Resilient in Challenging Times

By: Hannah Walker, Vice President of Political Affairs, FMI  

20171205-FMI-Store Shoot-1173r-LowResIn times of emergency, we realize the true resiliency and effectiveness of an established private-public partnership. Our industry continues to work 24/7 to replenish and restock shelves, while ensuring the cleanliness of stores and the safety of its associates. Amid keeping things moving, the needs of all our customers and partners – including WIC and SNAP shoppers – remain top priority. 

With that being said, FMI has actively pursued the extension of P-EBT as it has proven to effectively reach children who would typically receive free or reduced school lunches, but are missing these meals due to their schools being closed or operating with reduced hours because of COVID-19. 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, established the P-EBT feeding program to allow families that typically rely on the school lunch program for meals and snacks during the regular school day to receive benefits they can redeem at their locally licensed SNAP grocery store to buy food. P-EBT allows states to add additional benefits to a family's SNAP card and issue new cards to those not participating in SNAP to cover the cost of the missed school meals. Integrating P-EBT into the SNAP system ensures customers can redeem their benefits at their local grocery store, where they already shop, without increased burden for all stakeholders. This process did not require any additional programming or operational changes for SNAP retailers and has worked well in our members' operations. 

Today, over a dozen states have been approved for August and September P EBT during the new school year. We commend the House for extending the very successful P-EBT children's feeding program in its bipartisan FY21 continuing resolution stop-gap funding bill. In addition to extending P-EBT authorization, the legislation creates flexibilities to include schools that have adopted hybrid school schedules such as fewer days a week in-person attendance and reduced hours. Furthermore, the bill smartly expands P-EBT to include childcare facilities. These changes will help ensure that no child goes without vital nutrition.  

While much has been done to ensure families have access to food, more can always be accomplished. To help in this effort, FMI created a video that retailers can leverage to help families access benefits and navigate the SNAP/P-EBT shopping experience.  

We are urging the Senate to move quickly and pass H.R. 8337 – Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 which reauthorizes P-EBT as Americans continue to recover from this uncertain time. 

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Leadership

The FMI Government Relations Committee reviews, formulates and recommends to the Public Affairs Committee the programs and positions necessary to represent the interests of grocery retailers and wholesalers before the federal and state governments. The Committee recommends priorities and directions for the maximum utilization of FMI's resources and assists in influencing and implementing government relations programs at the national and state levels.

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