WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 8, 2012 – Today, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the industry’s efforts to prevent fraud in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Jennifer Hatcher, senior vice president of government and public affairs at FMI, offered her comments as a seasoned witness to the efficiencies in the program over the last 13 years.

Hatcher stated: “SNAP EBT is a positive example of a public-private partnership that works and that adds efficiency and reduces fraud for all stakeholders in the program – the state agencies, the retailers and the customers. Supermarket retailers are proud of our partnership with USDA and the state agencies to deliver safe, healthy and affordable foods to customers in need of assistance.

“In large part, due to the conversion to electronic delivery of benefits rather than paper Food Stamps, a significant portion of the fraud has been removed from the system…Electronic delivery has also provided state agencies with a better mechanism to compare transaction activity and look for duplication across state lines, particularly within states that share a common border.

“FMI members take their responsibility as authorized food retailers for the delivery of SNAP benefits very seriously. Being an authorized SNAP retailer is part of their identity and reputation in the community, which is very important for them to protect.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon and Inspector General Phyllis K. Fong joined Pennsylvania Officer of Inspector General’s Inspector General Kenya Mann Faulkner to testify with Hatcher on the hearing panel.

Hatcher concluded, “[The food retail industry] is committed to ensuring a pleasant and efficient shopping experience for all our customers, and we welcome the opportunity to work with the Committee and the Department to move toward additional efficiencies in the SNAP program."

Hatcher’s complete testimony can be found here.