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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Food Coupons Officially Going Away

After Sept. 17, the Federal Reserve will no longer accept paper food coupons from banks. Last year, as part of the 2008 farm bill (Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008), Congress mandated that all benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly the food stamp program) be issued electronically.

States were ordered to stop issuing paper coupons for food last June. This year, retailers are to stop accepting stamps and RCs on June 17, and all banks are to stop accepting paper coupons from retailers on July 18. All outstanding paper coupons and RCs will be de-obligated as of June 18. For more information on food coupon redemption procedures, see

Memphis Branch Transitioning to Currency Strap Imaging

If your institution used cash services at the St. Louis Fed, be aware that the Memphis Branch of the St. Louis Fed will begin switching over to currency strap imaging for currency processing on Aug. 24.

Make sure your appropriate staff members know that they may see a delay in receiving cash difference advices. Currently, your depository institution receives original currency straps for differences found in your deposits. During the transition, your DI may receive original currency straps, printed images of original currency straps or a combination of the two.

The depositor information required on the strap remains unchanged; however, this information must be readable if printed images from the straps are sent. Currency strap imaging is being implemented throughout the Fed System as part of the Fed's re-engineering of manual paper-based processes.