LAS VEGAS—Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was a last-minute addition to the speaker lineup at the National Grocers Association Show taking place this week, and used the platform to tease food stamp reform in the upcoming federal budget, which he said President Trump plans to release Feb. 12. 

Secretary Perdue was coy about the details, but promised changes for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to the gathering of independent grocery retailers in his 20-minute remarks on Feb. 11. Perdue said while he expects full funding for most nutrition programs, the Trump administration is committed to helping only "those who truly need assistance.”

“We believe that people who can work should be expected to work or prepare to work to receive benefits,” he said. “Expect to see emphasis on elimination of waste, fraud and abuse in our nutrition program.”

The coming budget has “common-sense reforms that call for greater consistency across nutritional programs,” he said.

“We’ll also have a bold, new innovative approach to SNAP,” he said, but did not share details except to say he looked forward to sharing details once the budget is released.

Secretary Perdue’s remarks focused on what the Trump administration is doing to make business easier for retailers, primarily in areas of deregulation.

“We’ve created a ‘Mother May I’ environment,” he said. “When you’re covered with unnecessary regulation, it’s just a heavy weight on your shoulders with so many heavy regulations.”

The NGA Show runs through Feb. 14. Stay tuned for more updates.

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