Ohio is among 13 states newly-appointed to a program permitting online food purchases with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Once operational, online purchasing will be available in 36 states and the District of Columbia, home to more than 90% of SNAP participants.
In addition, U.S Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced an expansion of independently owned and operated retail stores beyond those included in the original pilot. Soon more SNAP authorized retailers, under multiple store banners, will be accepting SNAP benefits online.
“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.”
Currently, the SNAP online purchasing pilot is operational in 18 states and the District of Columbia, with additional states going live each week.
For retailers and states that are not yet able to participate in online purchasing, FNS recommends utilizing other options that retailers may already provide, such as Pay at Pick-up (also known as “Click and Collect”), where SNAP cardholders can shop online and then pay for their purchase using their EBT card at pick-up. SNAP recipients also have the ability to add an authorized user to their card to make purchases on their behalf.
For up-to-date information, and to learn more about flexibilities being used in FNS nutrition programs, visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/coronavirus.