Major Online Retailers to Accept SNAP
I am so excited to hear that online retailers including Amazon, Fresh Direct, SafeWay, Shop Rite, HyVee, Hart's Local Grocers and Dash Markets will accept SNAP as part of a pilot program set to start Summer 2017. The program will be piloted in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Iowa, and Oregon.
I am excited about this for several reasons:
According to USDA secretary Tom Vilsack "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," I agree! Online purchasing can increase access to healthy foods in areas that are food deserts as a result of limited healthy food offerings.
Online SNAP purchasing can also increase access for persons who are not able to go out and shop. Having the option to order food online can be a game changer for people that may not qualify for or be able to afford home delivery meal services. It also allows for more autonomy and meal options for persons that benefit from having food delivered to the home.
Online SNAP purchasing can also reduce stigma. SNAP customers should have access to all of the same options as customers that use other forms of payment. This equality reduces stigma by sending a message that all customers are welcome and deserve to have options in regards to purchasing food.
I hope that the pilot program is successful so that Online SNAP Purchasing will become a permanent option available in all states. Props to the USDA and participating online retailers!
The opinions presented in this post are the intellectual property of Amber ANN MPH, CHES, LMSW. The news story and quote by Tom Vilsack were originally posted by Fortune.com.