Good News for People Receiving SNAP Benefits

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If you live in certain states, you’ll be able to buy groceries online.

We need some happy news right now, so here’s some happy news:

Beginning this summer, some Americans who receive food assistance will have a new way to feed their families. The Agriculture Department said that it will test a program that allows people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — SNAP, known as food stamps — to order groceries online through various retailers. The ability to shop online could bring healthful food into food deserts, low-income areas where fresh food is not readily available.

It isn’t perfect—the Washington Post notes that although users will be able to pay for food with SNAP benefits, they’ll have to pay delivery charges out of pocket—but if you’re in a neighborhood with limited grocery options, being able to order food online from places like Safeway, Hy-Vee, and yes, even Amazon will help.

Here’s a list of eligible states and food retailers:

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 (based in Rochester)

Dash’s Market — New York (based in Buffalo)

The USDA is testing this program in both urban and rural areas, which I appreciate, and the test is scheduled to last for two years.

Let’s hope it is a success.

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