The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed a rule that would force stores that accept food stamps to offer a wider array of food choices, potentially harming around 47,000 smaller stores that participate in the program.
On Feb. 16 the department announced arule that would require Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)-authorized retail establishments to offer seven varieties of foods in four staple food groups such as dairy, breads and cereals, meats, poultry and fish, and fruits and vegetables on a continuous basis. Stores would also be required to stock at least six units of each variety, meaning there would have to be at least 168 of the required foods at the store.
Big-box retailers such as Walmart would not be harmed by the rule like smaller stores, since they have higher amounts of inventory. For convenience stores like 7-Eleven, the rule would present a challenge to their business model due to limited space and more restricted supply chains.