Final Rule: Updated Trafficking Definition and SNAP-FDPIR Dual Participation
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is changing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or program) regulations pertaining to SNAP client benefit use, participation of retail food stores and wholesale food concerns in SNAP, and SNAP client participation in the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). These changes to SNAP regulations address mandatory provisions of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, PL 110-246 (hereinafter referred to as "the 2008 Farm Bill'') to allow for the disqualification of a SNAP client who intentionally obtains cash by purchasing, with SNAP benefits, products that have container deposits, subsequently discarding the product, and returning the container(s) in exchange for cash refund of deposit(s); or who intentionally resells or exchanges products purchased with SNAP benefits for purposes of obtaining cash and/or other non-eligible items.
Through existing authority under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, FNS is also stipulating penalties for certain program abuses committed by retailers. These abuses include stealing of SNAP benefits, by retailers, without client complicity, and other forms of trafficking through complicit arrangements between the retailer and the SNAP client.
Examples of the latter would be the purchase, by retailers, of products originally purchased by clients with SNAP benefits and re-sold to stores in exchange for cash or other non-eligible items; or retailers taking possession of SNAP client cards and PINs, using the SNAP benefits to purchase stock for the store, and subsequently returning the card and PIN to the client with cash or other non- eligible items provided in exchange for having used the SNAP benefit. FNS is also addressing the mandatory 2008 Farm Bill provisions requiring disqualification in SNAP when an individual is disqualified from FDPIR, and under existing authority, clarifying the prohibition against dual participation in SNAP and FDPIR.