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NGA Foundation creates nutrition incentive workgroup – Grocery Dive

Dive Brief:

  • The National Grocers Association Foundation (NGAF), the nonprofit arm of the trade association, announced last week a workgroup to decide on common functionality needed in point-of-sale solutions so grocers can offer efficient and accurate nutrition incentives. 
  • The workgroup, which is being facilitated by Peter Relich, an electronic payments expert, has 20 volunteers from the nutrition incentive community who will meet weekly over the next few months, according to the announcement. The group’s first meeting was last Wednesday. 
  • The POS Nutrition Incentive Workgroup builds on the trade association’s efforts to push for new technology to allow retailers to provide free or discounted fruits and vegetables to low-income shoppers.

Dive Insight:

The National Grocers Association (NGA), which represents independent grocers, says that grocers are looking to overcome POS hurdles as nutrition incentive programs pick up steam. For example, many grocers from independents to large chains are seeking out the ability to accept SNAP benefits for online transactions

The NGA teamed up with the Food Industry Association earlier this year to call for food retailers and developers to create industry-wide POS solutions for nutrition incentive transactions rather than have “thousands of inefficient one-off individual solutions.”

The NGAF worked with the Nutrition Incentive Hub to find the volunteers for the workgroup. The announcement noted that the workgroup’s facilitator, Relich, has experience leading groups to find consensus and “was an essential part of the team that moved the industry from paper food stamps to Electronic Benefits Transfer.”

Once the workgroup decides on its standards, it will share its findings with POS developers, said Ted Mason, project director for the NGAF Technical Assistance Center.

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