NEW YORK - Amazon and other online retailers will soon begin accepting food stamps.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced seven major retailers taking part in the pilot program that will allow SNAP participants to purchase their groceries online.
The two-year pilot program will begin this summer in eight states.
"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."
To start, only Amazon shoppers in Maryland, New Jersey, and New York will be able to make purchases using SNAP purchasing.
The USDA said it anticipates expanding the program once it confirms the pilot operates as necessary.
More than 43 million people currently participate in the SNAP program, nearly half of which are children.
The other retailers and locations included are:
- 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)