U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced approval April 10 for Arizona and California’s request to provide online purchasing of food to SNAP households in those states.
This approval will allow the states to expedite the implementation of online purchasing with currently authorized SNAP online retailers with a target start date later this month. California’s SNAP participation is over 4 million individuals, more than 2.2 million households, and totals more than $6 billion annually in federal funding. Arizona’s SNAP participation is nearly 800,000 individuals, almost 380,000 households, and totals nearly a $1 billion annually in federal funding.
“We are expanding new flexibilities and innovative programs to make sure Americans across this country have safe and nutritious food during this national emergency,” Perdue said. “Enabling people to purchase foods online will go a long way in helping Americans follow CDC social distancing guidelines and help slow the spread of the coronavirus. USDA is mandated with the noble goal of feeding Americans when they need it most, and we are fulfilling that mission with new innovative programs during this national emergency.”
The SNAP online pilot program is currently operational in Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Oregon and Washington. Maryland and New Jersey remain non‐operational pilot states. The authorized retailers working with all pilot states are Amazon and Walmart, while Wrights Market and ShopRite are working with Alabama and New York respectively. Dash’s Market, Fresh Direct, Hy‐Vee, and Safeway are authorized retailers, which are not currently operational.
Though the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is receiving interest to expand the SNAP online pilot program, the responsibility is on state agencies, their third-party processor, and any retailers who wish to participate, Perdue said. To ease the process, FNS put together a simplified template for states who wish to enter the online pilot which is provided as an attachment to this letter.
For up to date information and to learn more about flexibilities being used in FNS nutrition programs, please visit www.fns.usda.gov/.