The Montgomery County Community Action Agency is the County’s official anti-poverty agency. The Community Action Board serves in an advisory capacity to the County Executive and County Council, and as an advocate on behalf of the poor and working poor of the County.
Montgomery County Community Action
Thursday, January 5, 2017
SNAP Participants Will Be Able to Order Groceries Online this Summer
USDA Announces Retailer Volunteers for SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot
FNS Office of the Chief Communications Officer (703) 305-2281
WASHINGTON, Jan. 5, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the seven retail firms selected to take part in a pilot designed to enable Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants to purchase their groceries online. The two-year pilot 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:
Retailers - Pilot 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)
The firms selected represent a variety of store types, including national online retailers as well as large grocery chains and smaller, regional networks to appropriately test online SNAP purchasing in different settings. Pilots will take place in seven states in both rural and urban areas, marking the next critical step in bringing the online purchasing option to SNAP clients.
While USDA has authorized SNAP online grocery ordering in a few locations, this pilot will test both online ordering and payment. Online payment presents technical and security challenges that will need to be examined and fully addressed before it is offered nationwide. As with the core program, SNAP participants will only be able to use their benefits to purchase eligible items online – not to pay for service or delivery charges. USDA is committed to maintaining the security of SNAP benefits for both the protection of SNAP participant accounts and to prevent and detect trafficking, so SNAP online purchases must have a higher level of security than most other online purchases.
As the pilot proceeds and USDA confirms the system is operating as required, we anticipate being able to add additional retailers. Eventually, our goal is for this to be a national option for SNAP participants, once the pilot phase is complete and USDA can incorporate lessons learned into program rules.
As the nation's first line of defense against hunger, SNAP helps put food on the table for millions of low income families and individuals every month and has never been more critical to the fight against hunger. SNAP is a vital supplement to the monthly food budget of more than 43 million low-income individuals. Nearly half of SNAP participants are children, 10 percent are over 60 and more than 40 percent of recipients live in households with earnings.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay)
Montgomery County Community Action Agency