Coronavirus

USDA approves Pennsylvania, others to accept SNAP benefits online

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WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAJ) — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that households in 13 new states – Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia – will soon be able to purchase food online with their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Once operational, online purchasing will be available in 36 states and the District of Columbia, home to more than 90% of SNAP participants.

In addition, Secretary Perdue also announced an expansion of independently owned and operated retail stores beyond those included in the original pilot. Soon more SNAP authorized retailers, under multiple store banners, will be accepting SNAP benefits online.

“We are expanding new flexibilities and innovative programs to make sure Americans across this country have safe and nutritious food during this national emergency,” said Secretary Perdue. “Enabling people to purchase foods online will go a long way in helping Americans follow CDC social distancing guidelines and help slow the spread of the coronavirus. USDA is mandated with the noble goal of feeding Americans when they need it most, and we are fulfilling that mission with new innovative programs during this national emergency.”

Background:

On April 18, 2019, Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the launch of the two-year SNAP online purchasing pilot that began in New York before being rolled out to additional states. As part of its response to COVID-19, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has worked closely with all interested states, retailers, and benefit processors to make online purchasing a reality for more SNAP households.

In less than six weeks, amidst an unprecedented situation, USDA has expanded SNAP online purchasing to 36 states and the District of Columbia – nearly three-quarters of the states, covering 90% of SNAP households.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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