ARLINGTON, VA - FMI – The Food Industry Association commends the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) extended guidance and assistance for grocers who would like to become authorized online Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) retailers. Jennifer Hatcher, chief public policy officer, offered comment:
“We’re pleased USDA’s online SNAP program has rapidly expanded to include 16 states this past month. As the world continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a more urgent need for more customers to be able to use online grocery shopping. Offering online ordering and payment for SNAP customers is an important step to address the evolving needs of U.S. grocery digital shoppers and works to ensure that we leave no customer unserved at this critical time.
“It’s evident that home delivery or pick-up models are popular during this emergency, and the payments technology is working well for families paying with either credit or debit cards, or with online SNAP benefits in those states and stores with existing pilots. According to FMI’s U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends COVID-19 tracker, 20% of Americans tried online shopping for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. The interest in online SNAP sales has subsequently grown as grocers work to serve all their customers during unprecedented time.
“It is essential that additional retailers are authorized to offer online SNAP sales as additional states join the online SNAP program. FMI is working closely with USDA to ensure any SNAP retailer who would like to and is able to participate can be authorized as an online SNAP retailer as swiftly as possible. We appreciate the agency’s efforts to help streamline the process and work with grocers who would like to become authorized online SNAP retailers.”
In the 2014 Farm Bill, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was directed to conduct a pilot where SNAP customers could order and pay for groceries online for home delivery or curbside pickup. USDA was granted authority in the 2018 Farm Bill to roll out SNAP online purchasing nationwide if it found the pilot a success.