Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores will testify on behalf of NATSO at a Congressional hearing May 12 on the company's experience as a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) retailer, as well as the negative impact the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new proposed SNAP rule will have on retailers that redeem SNAP benefits.
The public hearing, titled, “The Past, Present, and Future of SNAP: The Retailer Perspective,” is scheduled to be held May 12 at 10 a.m. in Room 1300 of the Longworth House Office Building.
Love’s Vice President of Human Resources and Government Affairs Carl Martincich will testify before the House Committee on Agriculture. Martincich is expected to say, among other things, that truckstops play a vital role in providing access for SNAP beneficiaries, especially those living in rural areas, and that the Department of Agriculture's proposed changes to the SNAP program will make it virtually impossible for the truckstop and travel plaza industry to continue to redeem SNAP benefits.
The proposed rule would prohibit retailers from redeeming SNAP benefits if 15 percent or more of their total food sales are for items cooked or heated on-site. Many convenience stores operated by truckstop and travel plazas are located at the same site as quick-serve and/or sit-down restaurants.
Furthermore, the proposal would require SNAP retailers to stock and offer for sale a larger quantity of "staple food" items while substantially narrowing the definition of "staple food" items. This would require NATSO members wishing to redeem SNAP benefits to offer for sale a number of items that they would otherwise not be inclined to stock.
Truckstops and travel plaza operators that redeem SNAP benefits play an important role in the SNAP program, especially in areas where there are few other locations for financially challenged Americans to purchase food.
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