WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators John Fetterman and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today built upon their record of empowering workers through the Farm Bill by introducing the Food and Nutrition Delivery Safety Act. The new legislation would require Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) authorized retailers to pay good wages, ensure SNAP groceries are delivered safely, and protect SNAP users’ online data. It would also establish standards for the safe and secure online use of SNAP ordering and delivery, and the safe and healthful delivery of food ordered through SNAP.

“SNAP is a lifeline for working families across the Commonwealth and the nation. We must ensure the food delivered through SNAP is delivered safely by introducing protections for consumers and workers alike,” said Senator Fetterman. “This bill will require SNAP authorized retailers to guarantee both fair wages and good working conditions for their employees and benefit protections for SNAP recipients.”

“As more Ohioans use online grocery delivery, we must pass this bill to ensure the workers providing this service are protected,” said Senator Brown.

Currently, grocery stores are shifting work away from union workers to lower paid, independent contractors who lack rights and benefits. While the government has few ways to influence the pay and benefits of private sector workers, it can ensure that government grants, tax incentives and contracts go to employers that pay their workers a living wage and support unionization efforts. The USDA determines who is an authorized SNAP retailer and not. While the USDA has recently begun authorizing online and delivery for SNAP purchases, there is nothing that requires the food to be delivered safely or the workers to be paid well in the retailer authorization.

The Food and Nutrition Delivery Safety Act would require the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), in collaboration with FDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy, to establish two sets of standards. The first standards are for the safe and secure online use of websites or apps used to purchase food through SNAP to support the user’s digital protection/cybersecurity. The second standards aim to promote fair and safe working conditions—including paying prevailing wages—and to keep food safe and secure during delivery. After such standards are established, FNS would issue regulations on reporting requirements for SNAP retail participants.

Senator Fetterman has fought for the best interest of workers through his position as Chair of the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee’s Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research and in this year’s Farm Bill negotiations. In July, he introduced the Food Secure Strikers Act of 2023, legislation to allow striking workers to qualify for SNAP benefits. This bill is the newest convergence of two major issues Senator Fetterman is championing for working people – SNAP and the dignity of work.

The Food and Nutrition Delivery Safety Act is endorsed by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW).

“With the rise of the gig economy, countless delivery workers are underpaid and lack important resources for the hard work they do delivering essential goods to households across the nation. This is even true for SNAP delivery workers who are the ones that ensure that SNAP recipients and their families have food on their tables. This landmark piece of legislation would establish long-needed guardrails for all delivery workers within the SNAP delivery program,” said Marc Perrone, UFCW International President. “Delivery workers’ pay should reflect the significant value their essential work provides in communities nationwide. The UFCW urges Congress to pass this bill in order to give SNAP delivery workers the basic labor protections, pay, equipment, and resources they deserve.