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SNAP Benefits to Extend to E-Commerce Groceries

SNAP Benefits to Extend to E-Commerce Groceries

Monday, January 9th, 2017

As retailers look towards getting their groceries more easily into the hands of consumers, there is a new program on the horizon that aims to supply a new demographic of shoppers with easy access to goods. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is introducing a new pilot that would extend Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to e-commerce groceries.

Tom Vilsack, Secretary, USDA

"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." 

The pilot aims to offer eligible consumers and low income families with access to healthy and fresh food no matter their location, in addition to answering a growing consumer demand for accessible and convenient groceries.

A photo posted by AmazonFresh (@amazon_fresh) on

The initial chains participating in the program, 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 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 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.

Is this latest push for fresh just the latest in the growing impact of online buy-side strategies? Deli Market News will continue to report.

United States Department of Agriculture