The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds convenience store operators of their responsibility to ensure that all store employees are trained to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (previously known as food stamps).
USDA notes that when retailers apply to accept SNAP benefits, they agree to an understanding of their responsibility to ensure that training is completed for all store owners and employees (paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time) including family members.
USDA’s goals are to ensure that all store owners fully understand this responsibility, and to remind retailers of available SNAP training materials and resources. “We expect all SNAP-authorized firms to be able to demonstrate that there is an established, operational compliance policy and program in place to prevent SNAP violations from occurring,” says USDA. An overview of SNAP training guides, rules and regulations are available online.
At a minimum, an acceptable SNAP training program includes:
Documented SNAP training for all store owners and new employees that must occur within 30 days of employment. Training documentation must include: A record of the materials reviewed The name of the owner(s) and employee(s) Date of employment The date of training The signature of the owner(s) and employee(s) attesting to their SNAP training
Periodic, documented, SNAP refresher training is required at least once each calendar year. Training documentation must include: A record of the materials reviewed The name of the owner(s) and employee(s) Date of employment The date of initial training The date of refresher training The signature of the owner(s) and employee(s) attesting to their SNAP refresher training
Store owners are responsible for ensuring that SNAP violations, such as exchanging SNAP benefits for cash or selling ineligible items, are not committed by employees. SNAP violations can result in criminal prosecution, fines, and/or removal from SNAP and WIC. For questions about SNAP rules, contact the SNAP Retailer Service Center at (877) 823-4369. (NACS: www.nacsonline.com)