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USDA Approves Florida’s Request to Launch Online Grocery Purchase Pilot Program.

Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 12:45PM

Written by Kristen Schmutz

Belden Communications News


Last week Governor Ron DeSantis asked the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to request a waiver to permit the use of SNAP recipients to be able to purchase groceries online.


According to a release that was sent out today, a pilot program will launch in Tallahassee on April 16, that allows SNAP recipients to purchase groceries online while using their EBT cards. The program will expand to a statewide launch on April 20.


“Removing barriers and enhancing access to critical services, while supporting Florida's infrastructure, remains a top priority for this agency," said DCF Secretary Chad Poppell. “I commend Governor DeSantis for taking yet another proactive action to equip Florida families with resources while keeping their health and safety at the forefront. This is an innovative, common-sense efficiency that will strengthen our families during this time of uncertainty."


The partnership between federal state and local partners will ensure Floridians can access food while social distancing and self-quarantining to stop the spread of COVID-19.


Walmart will initially launch a pilot at all five Tallahassee locations on April 16. On April 21, both Walmart and Amazon online purchasing will be available statewide. DCF will continue to coordinate with the USDA and the Florida Retail Federation to expand the network of retailers participating in the pilot program.


“Amazon remains committed to making food accessible through online shopping, offering all customers access to low prices, selection, and convenience,” said Kristina Herrmann, Director of Underserved Populations at Amazon. “This is especially important as millions of Americans are being encouraged to stay at home. We continue to work closely with state officials and the USDA as the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot grows to expand our capabilities in supporting under-served customers.”


Walmart already accepts SNAP benefits at all its brick and mortar locations in the United States. Customers will be able to use their EBT cards and opt for curbside pick-up. Utilization of food assistance benefits remains limited to the purchasing of eligible grocery items and cannot be used to pay for delivery services. 



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