EUGENE, Ore. — The federal food stamp cuts went into effect Friday, and some shoppers are concerned with less money to buy food, it may be tougher to afford fresh produce and other nutritional items.
Stores do have to abide by certain nutritional requirements to accept the Oregon Trail Card. The USDA requires all stores to sell at least three varieties of qualifying foods in four staple food groups, with perishable foods in at least two of the categories: meat, poultry or fish, bread or cereal, vegetables or fruits and dairy products.
But SNAP recipients aren’t required to buy those items.
“The program can only in a limited way encourage people to purchase those through compelling the retailer to have a variety,” said James Mattravers, Grocery Manager at Sundance Natural Foods.
Grocery store managers say it’s tough to follow the regulations because they are vague.