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Amazon, Walmart to test pilot program allowing food stamp recipients to buy food online

Program is expected to expand to other states, but not California
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Posted at 12:08 PM, Apr 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-30 15:56:32-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Walmart and Amazon are kicking off a two-year pilot in New York that will enable some of the state's 2.7 million SNAP recipients to use their benefits for online grocery orders. The Department of Agriculture has given green light for the pilot program and will expand it to other states, but not California.

ShopRite and Amazon will service the New York City area, while Walmart will cover upstate locations. Additional retailers are slated to join the pilot in coming months. The test will eventually expand to other parts of New York, as well as Alabama, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington.

The USDA says it eventually wants the more than 38 million Americans on food stamps nationwide to be able to make online purchases, which will make it easier for some working moms, as well as the elderly and disabled, to buy food. But the move also opens up the market to online retailers.

Currently, 38 million Americans nationwide use food stamps.