Online grocery purchases are now a possibility for food stamp recipients, thanks to a pilot program.
The program allows recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to buy SNAP-approved food from FreshDirect and Amazon. Lobbying efforts from the Bronx Borough President’s Office and federal legislators convinced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to widen the acceptable food outlets SNAP benefits can take advantage of as a way to improve access to affordable food in areas where food deserts are the norm in the Bronx. It also gives a revenue boost to FreshDirect and Amazon.
SNAP benefits come in a reloadable debit card that’s replenished monthly by the USDA. Each card has an ID number that can be used to purchase SNAP-approved items online.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said the program will put New York State “at the intersection of health, technology, and business.”