Pilot Program Approved by USDA

Good News for Low Income Residents: Fresh Direct, Amazon Now Take SNAP

Peter McCarthy
Photo credit: skeeze on Pixabay / CCO Public Domain License
Photo credit: skeeze on Pixabay / CCO Public Domain License

According to a report in the PIX 11 website, the United States Department of Agriculture has approved online food retailers Fresh Direct and Amazon for the Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP).

SNAP provides public assistance through EBT debit cards to Americans with low incomes that allows them to buy food from approved retailers.The pilot program greatly increases choice for such families.

Not only will Fresh Direct and Amazon offer new food options, some will become available to SNAP users on Roosevelt Island for the first time. The move is expected to improve prices as well as quality by increasing competition.

The New York Grocery Store Association has concerns that are highlighted by the reported closing of supermarkets in many neighborhoods. Losing customers to online retailers may hasten the trend. Seniors and others not internet savvy or confident with buying over the internet will face new challenges if brick and mortar stores continue to fail.

But SNAP users and advocacy groups generally support the new choices and having food delivered will help many.

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