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Policy Efforts to WatchGeorgia Supermarket Access Task Force

The Georgia Supermarket Access Task Force, convened by The Food Trust, the Georgia Family Connection Partnership, and the Georgia Food Industry Association, met over the course of a year to develop policy recommendations to support supermarkets and other fresh food retail in underserved areas of the state. Visit here to view the report.

 

Changes to SNAP Distribution

In September 2012, cooperative efforts between the Georgia Department of Human Services, Georgia Food Industry Association, and Georgia Supermarket Access Task Force members, led to the overhaul of the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) distribution schedule from a 10-day to a 19-day cycle. Historically, the State of Georgia dispersed SNAP, or food stamp, benefits during a 10-day cycle each month. As a result, stores located in areas where a high concentration of SNAP beneficiaries shop experienced a surge of business during that 10-day period, and a significant decline in business during the other days of the month. This imbalance produced a myriad of consequences, including overcrowding and slow periods, difficulty in staffing, and challenges to stocking fresh produce throughout the month. These complications made some retailers hesitant to operate in communities with heavy SNAP participation. The change to the cycle benefits not only SNAP participants, providing a better shopping experience and increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the month, but also grocers, wholesalers, and suppliers tied to Georgia’s food system.

 

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