ARLINGTON, VA – FMI - The Food Industry Association welcomes the news that additional retailers – from independent operators to national chains and additional service providers – are entering the online Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) space, and applauds the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) commitment to authorize additional retailers in the coming months. Forty-six states are now live with SNAP online, and the increase in authorized retailers furthers the goal of ensuring all customers can purchase their groceries online if they choose to do so, regardless of how they pay. Leslie G. Sarasin, chief executive officer of FMI, provided the following statement: 

“Consumer shopping habits are quickly evolving in these challenging times. The grocery industry has experienced a significant and sustained increase in online shopping during the past eight months. Online grocery shopping is at its highest levels since the pandemic began. According to our U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends data, weekly online shopping spend is 37.2%, up 8% from July, and the industry has dedicated substantial capital to respond to this growing demand. Offering online ordering and payment for SNAP customers is an important step to ensure that all customers have access to these services, regardless of how they pay.

“FMI is extremely pleased the SNAP online program has increased accessibility for individuals of all ages and demographics by authorizing additional grocers and innovative service providers to accept benefits online. We are also encouraged to learn that USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service has awarded a grant to explore bringing online services to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program shopper. It’s essential that programs such as SNAP and WIC evolve to embrace new technologies and do not leave behind any shoppers in a maturing digital marketplace.”