The Department of Agriculture has announced publication of a proposed rule to strengthen program integrity of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The rule would end the practice called water dumping - which involves buying beverages that require a container deposit and immediately dumping out the contents in order to return the container and receive the deposit credit in cash. The proposed rule would make this practice a trafficking offense and could result in a recipient's disqualification.
Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon says we need to do everything possible to ensure that all SNAP benefits are used only as intended. That is - to help struggling individuals and families put healthy food on the table. Concannon says it is a top priority of the Obama administration to maintain public confidence in SNAP and fight actions that can undermine the intent of the program.
The Food and Nutrition Act provides for the disqualification of any person who has been found by a state or federal court or administrative agency to have intentionally abused their SNAP benefits. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register as part of an ongoing, continuous and broad effort to protect taxpayer dollars and ensure program integrity in SNAP.