State and Local
Policy Efforts to Watch: Tennessee Grocery Access Task Force
The Tennessee Grocery Access Task Force, convened by the Tennessee Grocery and Convenience Association (TGCA), the American Heart Association (AHA), and The Food Trust, met over the course of a year to develop policy recommendations to support supermarkets and other fresh food retail in underserved communities across the state.
- Learn more about the report that helped establish the task force: Food For Every Child: The Need for More Supermarkets in Tennessee.
- Learn more about the policy recommendations generated by the task force: Stimulating Supermarket Development in Tennessee: A report of the Tennessee Grocery Access Task Force.
- See a news video here detailing food access issues in Tennessee and efforts by state legislators to address inequitable access to healthy food.
Changes to SNAP Distribution Schedules
In addition to the task force efforts, cooperative efforts between key stakeholders in Tennessee have led to the overhaul of the state’s SNAP distribution schedule. In late October 2012, the state’s SNAP distribution schedule was extended from a 10-day cycle to a 20-day cycle, thereby improving the effectiveness of the program. This new distribution schedule for SNAP benefits in Tennessee helps ensure that fresh foods are available throughout the month and that grocery stores can properly serve consumers in areas of high food-stamp volume. This change will also benefit grocers, wholesalers, and suppliers tied to Tennessee’s local food system. This improvement to the distribution schedule is a good indication of the State of Tennessee’s commitment to implementing changes to improve access to healthy foods in local communities.