USDA launches pilot program for SNAP recipients to shop for groceries online

Tech Crunch reports the USDA will launch a pilot program that will allow public assistance recipients the option to show for groceries online.

The catch is that it is only in New York state for now.

During the two-year pilot program SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits or “food stamps” will be able to shop at Walmart, Amazon, ShopRite and more.

AmazonFresh and Prime Pantry will allow customers to purchase items without the membership fee and Walmart will oversee grocery pickup and delivery.

According to the USDA other stores will join the pilot and will expand in other areas, including Alabama, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington.

The 2014 Farm Bill that allowed the USDA to work on this program before it’s rolled out nationwide. The goal is to find out whether SNAP benefits processed appropriately and understand the online challenges of SNAP.

This will be the first time SNAP recipients can order online and the USDA believes it shouldn’t be a luxury afforded to the few.

SNAP will only cover food items and not delivery fees. “Amazon has also rolled out support to those on public assistance before today. In 2017, it launched a low-cost version of Prime for U.S. customers with a valid EBT card, and later followed by offering low-cost Prime to Medicaid recipients last year,” according to Tech Crunch.

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