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NGA to Assist SNAP Online Programs

Specialty Food Association

The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service has awarded the National Grocers Association Foundation a $5 million grant to establish a technical assistance center to help grocers implement online Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program grocery purchasing.

The SNAP EBT Modernization Technical Assistance Center will teach retailers the federal requirements for SNAP EBT modernization, including online purchasing and mobile payment programs.

“Independent community grocers have been actively pursuing expansion of their online purchasing platforms, including online SNAP and mobile payment capabilities, to meet the ever-growing consumer demand for online shopping, but obstacles and a lack of resources have hindered the ability of many smaller retailers to pursue innovative solutions, resulting in reduced access for customers to needed essential food products and services,” said Chelsea Matzen, NGAF director, in a statement. “This grant will pave the way for more smaller grocery operators to offer SNAP online purchasing, making them more competitive in their respective market areas and better able to provide service to food-insecure Americans.”

Increasing access to online grocery purchasing is particularly important to rural communities and areas served by stores with limited selections of healthy foods. 

“Small stores are the heartbeat of towns across America. They’re often individually owned and operated, create local employment opportunities, and provide essential resources for their community, but they also may not have the same resources that bigger stores have at their fingertips,” said Stacy Dean, deputy undersecretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, in a statement.

Through the technical assistance center, NGAF will build upon its earlier technical assistance initiatives with SNAP which include a resource guide and toolkit.

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