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Compliance Corner: Stay Current on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Requirements

Posted in: Our Legislative and Regulatory Issues, Marketing & Retail, Compliance Corner

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Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Compliance Corner. We frequently provide member-only regulatory toolkits on key regulatory truckstop and travel plaza issues on NATSO’s website. Perodically, we feature a snapshot of the full toolkit here on the blog. 

Many of the convenience stores within truckstop and travel plaza redeem Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, and those who accept SNAP will need to comply with forthcoming requirements that are designed to provide greater varieties of food and prohibit SNAP recipients from purchasing ineligible items. 

The changes are a result of legislation Congress passed in 2014. The provisions will become effective when USDA issues rules implementing them, which is expected sometime this year or early next year. 

To help operators comply with the changes, NATSO has prepared a compliance guide that contains additional information on current requirements for SNAP retailers to participate in the program, as well as an overview of the anticipated additional requirements. 

Here Are the Highlights

Increased Offerings
The 2014 legislation requires SNAP retailers to stock greater quantities of food offerings in each of the four “staple” food categories. 

Currently within the SNAP program, food retailers must stock at least three different “varieties” of items in each “staple food” category (meat, poultry or fish; bread or cereals; vegetables or fruits; and dairy products) on a “continuous basis.” SNAP retailers are also required to stock at least one “perishable” food item in at least two of the four staple food categories. 

Under the new legislation, SNAP retailers must stock at least seven different “varieties” of food items in each of the four staple food categories (rather than three). It further requires SNAP retailers to stock at least one “perishable” food item in at least three of the four staple food categories (rather than two). 

More Sophisticated Technology
The new legislation requires SNAP retailers to implement point-of-sale technology systems that will not redeem SNAP benefits for the purchase of ineligible items and preclude cashiers from manually overriding the prohibition. Most truckstop owners and operators already have such systems in place, but those that do not will eventually need to upgrade their systems to participate in the SNAP Program.

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// NATSO Members: Get the Full Regulatory Toolkit. For more information about staple foods, varieties and the definition of a “continuous basis,” read the member-only resource, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Summary And Compliance Guide For Truckstops and Travel Plazas, here.

(The regulatory toolkit is available for NATSO Members only. If you need any assistance logging in, please contact NATSO Member Services at (703) 549-2100 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday, or e-mail us at membership@natso.com.)

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About the Author

David Fialkov

David Fialkov

David Fialkov is the Vice President of Government Relations, as well as the Legislative and Regulatory Counsel, at NATSO.  In this capacity, Mr. Fialkov direct's NATSO's legislative, regulatory, and legal strategy on a range of issues, including transportation, energy and fuels, labor, data security, and taxes.  Mr. Fialkov also oversees NATSO's political engagement program, including individualized legal and political counsel to member companies.
 
Prior to joining NATSO, Mr. Fialkov was the senior associate in the Government Affairs and Public Policy practice at the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C.  At Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov advised clients on legislative, regulatory, and political issues, as well as legal concerns.  His primary clients included trade associations representing the motor fuel wholesale and retail industries, including the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America.  Mr. Fialkov's focus was not only on the motor fuels business, but also the litany of other issues that retailers confront, including labor matters, foodservice issues, healthcare and employment issues, tax matters and data security.
 
Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School.  He received his B.S. Summa cum laude with highest honors from Clark University in Worcester, MA.  He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Allison and daughter Lilah.