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Sign On Letter for Expanding SNAP Online Sales
Dear ____[Federal Legislator]_____,
Thank you for your efforts to support Michiganders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The stimulus investments made thus far have been integral to individuals and businesses alike, but more needs to be done.
The pandemic has made access to food additionally difficult for people with limited resources. While many shoppers have adapted by using online ordering and pick-up options, these options are more limited for people using SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. Almost all grocery retailers, small and large, cannot accept SNAP online and direct market farmers lack the resources and time to access the technology to process SNAP.
In July, Michigan was accepted into the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot. However, this is just the first step for Michigan retailers to accept SNAP payments online. The retailers currently approved to process online SNAP payments are limited to Amazon and Walmart. Regional supermarkets, independent retailers, small local grocers, farmers markets and other critical points of food access have been left out.
The Expanding SNAP Options Act of 2020 (Senate Bill 4202) introduced by Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth will expand access to food by making the online redemption of SNAP benefits more widely available to small retailers and farmers who face barriers in implementing their own online payment portals. This bill will help build out the online infrastructure to expand online SNAP sales to all authorized retailers, while also creating a new national technical assistance center to provide assistance to states, small businesses, and farmers in setting up online SNAP electronic benefit redemption systems.
We, a diverse group of small businesses, farmers, food banks, retailers, non-profits, health advocacy organizations, sustainable agriculture groups, local food groups, and others, call on you to support the Expanding SNAP Options Act of 2020 (S. 4202) to ensure that all Michiganders have access to food that is healthy and affordable and that small food retail venues, farmers markets, direct market farmers, and food hubs are able to accept SNAP online.
More funding for SNAP and the ability for families who receive SNAP to shop online are essential, especially in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Please support these critical changes.
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