Residents of Louisiana who receive SNAP benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can now buy groceries online.
Under the expanded program, recipients can shop and pay for eligible foods online using their electronic benefit transfer, or EBT, cards, WAFB reported, citing statements from the Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services. They can also arrange for delivery, though they will have to pay for delivery services through a separate form of payment. SNAP benefits cannot be used for delivery fees and other associated charges.
In addition, online grocery purchasing extends to other programs that let recipients make food purchases using EBT cards. These include the Pandemic EBT, Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program, Kinship Care Subsidy Program and Disaster-SNAP.
Walmart was the first retailer to get approval through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service online purchasing program, WAFB noted. The DCFS expects the program to rapidly spread to other retailers as well.
“With this program, families who shop for groceries with EBT cards will now have access to many of the same conveniences and features we’ve come to take for granted,” DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters said in a statement. “For some of our recipients, shopping remotely could be life-changing. Many have limited transportation. Some have health concerns that make it safer to shop online.”
SNAP recipients are advised to check retailer websites for information about what they offer online. All EBT retailers must be approved by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service and meet federal online purchasing requirements before being approved to provide online purchasing services. Not all USDA FNS-approved EBT retailers are authorized to accept EBT benefits online.
Louisiana isn’t the only state looking to expand access to SNAP benefits for recipients. As GOBankingRates recently reported, South Dakota passed a bill that would allow some residents to use their benefits to buy prepared meals at restaurants.
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