Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

USDA issues scaled-back healthy food requirements for food stamp stores

USDA issues scaled-back healthy food requirements for food stamp stores

For the foreseeable future, pizza will continue to count as a staple food item in the federal food stamp program.

In a compromise with political and business interests, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has scaled back its new rule requiring stores participating in the federal food stamp program to carry a greater number of healthy food items. Once the law goes into effect, the more than 265,000 retailers authorized to accept food stamp benefits — including many corner stores in Chicago's poorest neighborhoods — still will be required to carry a greater variety of healthy food, though not as many items as originally proposed.

The final rule filed Thursday by the...

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