mobile-bannertablet-bannerdesktop-banner
amazon bookstore new york city
The logo of US online retail giant Amazon is displayed on the Brieselang logistics center, west of Berlin on Nov.11, 2014. The center is one of nine in Germany.  JOHN MACDOUGALL AFP/Getty Images

Amazon and Other Online Grocers Will Start Accepting Food Stamps

Jan 06, 2017

Major online food retailers including Amazon will begin accepting food stamps from those participating in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

"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 in a release. "We're looking forward to being able to bring the benefits of the online market to low-income Americans participating in SNAP."

Starting this summer, the pilot program will take place in seven states: Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Iowa, and Oregon. Amazon (amzn), FreshDirect, Safeway, ShopRite, Hy-Vee, Hart's Local Grocers, and Dash's Market are all set to participate. The USDA said it eventually hopes to add more retailers and make using food stamps online a national option.

"Amazon is excited to participate in the USDA SNAP online purchasing pilot," the company said in a statement. "We are committed to making food accessible through online grocery shopping, offering all customers the lowest prices possible."

Being able to use digital food stamps could be an important step for elderly or disabled SNAP participants who may have trouble leaving their homes to go grocery shopping. Plus, as Fortune's Michael Addady first wrote back in September, it could also help bring healthier food options to people living in "food deserts" without easy access to fresh ingredients.

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: http://www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/html/tandc/indexestandcs.html. S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions