Spray Cheese Counts as ‘Staple’ Under Trump Food-Stamp Proposal

Selling canned spray cheese could make more stores eligible for federal “food stamp” benefits under a Trump administration proposal, Food & Wine reports. The proposed rules subdivide staple food varieties, making it more easy to qualify as a SNAP retailer. In examples of items that would meet stores’ “minimum stocking requirements” and make them eligible to receive SNAP benefits, the government listed canned spray cheese, beef jerky, and pimiento-stuffed olives as “staple” foods. According to Bloomberg, the Federal Register notice states “canned spray cheese sauce” counts as a dairy staple, “beef jerky” counts as a meat staple, and lemon juice and “jarred pimiento-stuffed olives” as fruit and vegetables staples. The Agriculture Department reportedly said the proposed rules would allow allow smaller stores to stock six fewer items in their inventory and would save $500 per store over five years.

“It is important to note that the proposed rule text simply provides examples of stocking items,” Brooke Hardison, communications director at the USDA said. “Many of the items listed in the rule, including canned spray cheese and beef jerky, are already considered staple items under longstanding SNAP rules.”