SNAP Benefits to Extend to E-Commerce Groceries
UNITED STATES – Could fresh produce soon be launched further into consumer hands, and inspire further healthy food choices throughout the nation? The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is introducing a new pilot program that would extend Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to e-commerce groceries.
"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 stated in a press release. "We're looking forward to being able to bring the benefits of the online market to low-income Americans participating in SNAP."
Not only will this program look to offer eligible consumers access to fresh produce and healthy food no matter their location, but will also answer a growing consumer demand for ease of access to convenient groceries.
The pilot program will last for two years, and is slated to begin this summer. For a well-rounded test of the program, seven retailers have been tapped to participate. Spanning from regional to national reach, the chains exist in both urban and rural settings to test different settings for users.
The initial chains, and the states their e-commerce platforms will cover, are as follows:
- Amazon: Maryland, New Jersey, New York
- FreshDirect: New York
- Safeway: Maryland, Oregon, Washington
- ShopRite: Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
- Hy-Vee, Inc: Iowa
- Hart’s Local Grocers: New York
- Dash’s Market: New York
The USDA intends to offer the fresh produce selections of more retailers as the pilot progresses, though the initial chains selected will help the USDA work out technical logistics of the program. The program was cultivated with the intention of taking it to national coverage.
This new e-commerce benefit plan is further bolstered by the USDA’s mission to up consumption of fresh produce by incentivizing SNAP receivers to purchase more fresh produce. This focus also extends to the e-commerce pilot.
As consumers continue to look towards accessibility, is this move the latest in the growing impact of online groceries? Stick with AndNowUKnow for the latest buy-side news.