WESTERN NEW YORK – Walmart has joined a two-year government pilot program that will allow low-income shoppers on government food assistance in New York State to shop and pay for their groceries online for the first time.
The USDA has long required customers using electronic benefits transfer, or EBT, pay for their purchases at the actual time and place of sale.
The move marks the first time SNAP customers can pay for their groceries online. The pilot program will test both online ordering and payment.
SNAP participants will be able to use their benefits to purchase eligible food items but will not be able to use SNAP to pay for service or delivery charges. ShopRite and Amazon will follow suite, only serving the New York City area.
Roughly 38 million individuals receive food stamps in the U.S., according to the USDA. Nearly $52 billion, or 82% of all food stamp dollars, were spent at big box stores and grocery chains in 2017.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.