The National Grocers Association (NGA) and FMI-The Food Industry Association have issued an open letter to food retailers, grocery wholesalers, national and state associations, and nutrition incentive program providers, asking them to join together in supporting a new initiative to collaborate with POS system developers in creating a retail transaction and reporting solutions for nutrition incentive programs.
Since the 2014 Farm Bill passage, federal nutrition incentive programs have been gaining in popularity across the U.S. In recent years, the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) has allowed for the expansion of nutrition incentives. There has been an increased focus on retailers’ programs to provide free or discounted produce to SNAP clients or low-income individuals with certain diagnosed health conditions.
“We encourage all industry leaders to consider signing on to this call to action expressing your interest in the creation of industry-wide POS solutions for nutrition incentive transactions,” said Ted Mason, project director for the NGA Foundation Technical Assistance Center (NGAF TAC). “We hope our leaders will step up to help educate fellow retailers, wholesalers, and POS developers about nutrition incentives and the need for industry-wide POS solutions for nutrition incentive transactions.”
Methodologies to conduct nutrition incentive transactions have often proved difficult and expensive to implement at the point of sale (POS), thus inhibiting the expansion of programs in more retail food stores.
Common POS transaction capabilities are needed rather than thousands of inefficient one-off individual solutions.
“We want to ensure that SNAP retailers can offer innovative services to all their customers, including redemption options for SNAP benefits, whether in store or online,” said Hannah Walker, vice president of political affairs at FMI. “It is essential that we continue to advance technology to support all our shoppers’ health and well-being goals.”
The federally funded National Grocers Association Foundation Technical Assistance Center (NGAF TA Center) in collaboration with the Nutrition Incentive Hub, wishes to facilitate meetings whereby POS system developers, food retailers, associations, and nutrition incentive program stakeholders collaborate to develop comprehensive nutrition incentive POS transaction solutions.
The NGAF TA Center is a partner of the Nutrition Incentive Hub, created by the Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Center (NTAE).
The Nutrition Incentive Hub is a coalition of partners that supports nutrition incentive and produce prescription projects.