Amazon to begin accepting food stamps

FILE - This Sept. 28, 2011, file photo shows the logo for Amazon during a news conference, in New York. Amazon is launching its site for handcrafted goods called Amazon Handmade on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, hoping to capitalize on shoppers’ appetite for homemade goods ahead of the holiday season. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

WASHINGTON (WCMH) – Amazon is among the grocery delivery services that will soon accept food stamps.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a pilot program last week that allows seven grocery delivery services in a limited number of states to begin accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

“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.”

Participating companies include:

  • 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 pilot program will test online ordering and payment.

SNAP benefits can only be used to pay for eligible products and can’t be used for delivery charges.

As the pilot program proceeds, the USDA expects to add additional retailers and states.