Meza, A.; Tester, J.M.; Yen, I.H.; Laraia, B.A.; Wolfson, J.A.; Leung, C.W.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is critical to alleviating food inse-curity, but low diet quality among program participants is a concern. Nutrition-related interventions have focused on SNAP-authorized food retailers, but the perspectives of small food store owners and managers have not been represented in national policy discussions. This study aimed to explore the opinions of store owners/managers of SNAP-authorized small food stores about their overall perceptions of the program and the stricter stocking standards previously proposed in 2016. We conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 33 small food store owners and managers in San Francisco and Oakland, California in 2016. Interviews were analyzed for thematic content using the general inductive approach. Four themes emerged from owners/managers’ discussion of their overall perceptions of SNAP: the beneficial impact of SNAP on their business, how SNAP enables them to connect with the broader community, the importance of SNAP in preventing hunger, and the nutrition-related struggles that SNAP participants face. Store owners/managers had a generally favorable response towards the proposed stricter stocking standards. Additional themes discussed pertained to the concern about whether stocking changes would lead SNAP participants to purchase more healthful food and some logistical challenges related to sourcing and storing perishable foods. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.