Amazon, Walmart lead new pilot e-commerce program in US

Published on
April 24, 2019

Amazon and Walmart are participating in a United States government pilot program that allows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to buy groceries online.

The two-year test, which recently launched in New York, allows online purchasing by SNAP households with electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards issued in New York. 

Amazon and Walmart will participate in the initial pilot launch on 23 April with ShopRite joining early next week. ShopRite and Amazon are providing service to the New York City area and Walmart is providing online service in upstate New York locations.

Amazon, Walmart, and ShopRite are participating in the initial launch, and then additional retailers will come on board in the coming months, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a press release. ShopRite and Amazon are providing service to the New York City area and Walmart is providing online service in upstate New York locations.

“People who receive SNAP benefits should have the opportunity to shop for food the same way more and more Americans shop for food – by ordering and paying for groceries online,” said USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “We look forward to monitoring how these pilots increase food access and customer service to those we serve, specifically those who may experience challenges in visiting brick and mortar stores.”

Online retailers are limited to delivery in the pilot areas in New York only. “Information regarding expansion will be available after this launch is determined successful and other pilot states indicate their readiness to implement,” the USDA said.

The pilot will eventually expand to other areas of New York as well as Alabama, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington.

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