Iowa governor Terry Brandstad and Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts sent a letter to the USDA asking for a redraft of the department's proposal to ensure vulnerable Americans have access to c-stores and other retailers for their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
“Many Americans, including the 15 percent of rural households that are food insecure, live several miles away from grocery stores or have restricted transportation options. Fortunately, in the many rural and urban communities, small format retailers fill food access needs in SNAP,” wrote the governors, according to NACS. “Taken together the proposed rules could limit food access and would be impractical for many small-town food retailers, resulting in many unintended consequences for Iowans and Nebraskans to access foods.”
The governors’ correspondence follows a stream of letters to the USDA by members of the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and the Congressional Black Caucus urging the department to preserve congressional intent in the original Farm Bill language and redraft its regulation so that it is workable for small format retailers and does not limit food access for SNAP families.