When Amazon first expanded its web-to-door grocery delivery service Amazon Fresh to areas outside of Seattle in 2013, it was unclear whether or not the company would mimic conventional supermarkets by accepting food stamps. Now, we have an answer: Yes—and they aren't the only online grocery store making that an option.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that the government’s SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, previously known as the Food Stamp Program) would be conducting a two-year pilot program involving seven major online grocery firms, including Amazon, FreshDirect, Safeway, and ShopRite.
Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania, and Iowa have been chosen as the pilot states for the program, with select retailers available for each.
The USDA believes online grocery ordering could be instrumental in bringing low-cost, nutritionally-rich foods to low-income areas where those choices are more limited. They cite security concerns as the reason they’re rolling out a limited test of the program for now, although the program is expected to go national in the near future. If you’re in a participating state, you can use SNAP for stocking up beginning this summer.