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article imageAmazon will soon start accepting food stamps

By Owen Weldon     Jan 10, 2017 in Business
Starting this summer, Amazon will start accepting food stamps from the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) program. Seven other online food retailers will start accepting SNAP, too.
Beside Amazon, ShopRite, Safeway, Hart's Local Grocers, Dash's Market and Hy-Vee will start accepting SNAP. The two-year pilot program will begin in seven states, including Oregon, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Washington. The USDA is hoping it will be able to expand the online program to all states and add more retailers.
Tom Vilsack, USDA secretary, said online purchasing is a potential lifeline for food stamp recipients living in rural communities and urban neighborhoods. Vilsack added that they are looking forward to bringing the benefits of the online market to Americans who are low-income and participating in SNAP.
Amazon said it was excited to participate in the SNAP online purchasing pilot. The company added that they were committed to making food accessible through online grocery shopping and to offer customers the lowest prices possible.
Amazon's grocery delivery service is AmazonFresh, but shoppers have to be Amazon Prime members. Prime costs $10.99 per month or $99 per year. Not only does Prime costs money, but so does AmazonFresh. Fresh costs $299 per year and $9.99 for deliveries under $40. Those on SNAP cannot use their benefits on delivery and service charges.
FreshDirect also released a statement saying that they were honored to have been chosen by the USDA to participate in the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot. The company said they believe that fresh, high quality food should be accessible to all.
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