Amazon, other online retailers to begin accepting food stamps

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WASHINGTON (NEWS10) — The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced seven retail firms will begin accepting food stamps online.

The program is part of a two-year pilot program that is slated to begin this summer.

“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 said. “We’re looking forward to being able to bring the benefits of the online market to low-income Americans participating in SNAP.”

Firms selected include:

RetailersPilot States*

  • 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)

* Retailers with multiple States listed may opt to phase in Pilot operations state-by-state over time.

The USDA says SNAP participants will only be able to use their benefits to pay for eligible items and not for service or delivery charges.

The pilot program will test both online ordering and payment options.

Once the pilot program is complete, the USDA says it wants to roll it out nationally.This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.Never miss another Facebook post from 8NewsFind 8News on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.

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