The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service’s final rule, released on December 8, 2016, changes the eligibility requirements for retailers participating in the food stamp program. The final rule makes some changes that were necessary to ensure people could get the food they need.
The USDA removed several problematic provisions from the final rule, which would have made it impossible for tens of thousands of retailers to meet its requirement. Those provisions included a ban on multiple ingredient items (such as vegetable beef stew); and an expanded definition of “accessory foods” that would have knocked out healthy grab-and-go items, such as hummus and pretzel packs from counting towards a retailer’s stocking requirements. USDA has also changed the provision that retailers stock six of every SNAP item on shelves at all times and now will require three of every item to be on shelves.