USDA expands its program to 15 states as well as Washington to ensure that people get free tablets with food stamps from the government need to shop at the supermarket during the coronavirus outbreak.
A pilot program that permits the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) users -- previously called food stamps to shop for grocery items online has been extended to allow more people to avoid shopping at supermarkets or grocery stores due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.
USDA has granted approval to 15 states, as well as Washington, DC, for participation in the program. It allows SNAP customers to use their cards to buy food items on the internet at participating stores. This program is offered for Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia. These states, together with DC comprise more than half of the households who receive this federal nutrition aid.
"This will be especially helpful for older adults who seem to be at higher risk of developing serious complications from the coronavirus," said Nicole Burda, an AARP legislative affairs representative. "Access to online food shopping and delivery with SNAP benefits will help ensure people can get the food they need while minimizing contact with others."
The AARP has called for the expansion of the SNAP's capacity to buy and deliver food online and increase the quantity the beneficiaries receive each month.
In the program's pilot, SNAP recipients can use their EBT card to purchase groceries from stores that participate in the program within their states. At present, Amazon and Walmart provide the services for Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, and Washington state. Wright's Markets also participates in Alabama and ShopRite is located in New York.
It may take time for other states to be accepted to allow their programs to be used. At present, USDA officials say those states may allow residents to use "Pay at Pick-up" or "Click and Collect" services that are available to beneficiaries. Use SNAP for online shopping and pay for food items using your EBT card at the time you collect them.
To help recipients learn how to use the programs, each state has a webpage specifically for the SNAP program. There is an interactive map of these websites here...
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