Soon it will be that much easier for busy families who use food stamps to get groceries.
According to Mashable, online grocery-shopping sites such as Amazon.com and FreshDirect will now accept food stamps as part of a pilot program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The report notes that the two-year program for families participating in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program will start in the summer and affect families in parts of Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington state.
“Online purchasing is a potential lifeline for SNAP participants living in urban neighborhoods and rural communities where access to healthy food choices can be limited,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to being able to bring the benefits of the online market to low-income Americans participating in SNAP.”
Grocers such as Safeway, ShopRite, HyVee, Hart’s Local Grocers and Dash’s Market will also be included in the program through their online grocery services. According to the report, the Department of Agriculture is trying to figure out whether local grocers, or national services like Amazon.com, will work best for families that use SNAP.
The pilot program will also be used to determine whether to allow online payment or to go with just online ordering and in-person payment. Customers will only be able to use food stamps to pay for eligible items that do not include service or delivery fees for online ordering.
The government is also planning to add additional retailers in hopes of eventually offering the online option for SNAP participants across the nation.