USDA approves SNAP benefits for online food purchases
SNAP recipients will be allowed to order groceries online using their benefits once Wisconsin implements a system for online purchases.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday it approved Wisconsin's request.
Wisconsin has not announced when the online system will be operational or what the authorized retailers will be.
There are almost 291,000 households receiving SNAP benefits, representing more than 572,000 adults and children.
There's growing interest in online ordering because of stay-at-home orders and social distancing protocols during this pandemic.
Twelve states currently offer an online purchasing system: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, and Washington State.
Only Amazon and Walmart are authorized retailers in all of those states. Alabama and New York also partnered with businesses there.
In addition to Wisconsin, the USDA has approved online purchasing in Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Washington DC and West Virginia.
The USDA says when the 22 states and the District of Columbia have their systems in place, more than half of U.S. households receiving SNAP will be able to buy food online using their benefits.
Until the systems are ready, the USDA says SNAP recipients can take advantage of local retailers that offer payment at the time of curbside pickup and use their EBT card to complete the purchase.