USDA-Approved Plan Starts with Walmart and will Expand to Other Retailers
BATON ROUGE, LA, February 23, 2022 – Louisiana households currently receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, formerly known as Food Stamps, can now order groceries online at Walmart stores throughout Louisiana.
While Walmart is the first retailer to receive approval through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service online purchasing program, DCFS officials expect the program to rapidly spread to other retailers.
EBT online grocery purchasing extends to other program recipients that make food purchases using EBT cards — Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) or cash assistance, Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) and Disaster-SNAP (DSNAP). Recipients can shop and pay for eligible foods online using their EBT cards. They can also arrange for delivery, if available in their area, although they will have to pay for delivery services through a separate form a payment. SNAP benefits cannot be used for delivery fees and other associated charges.
“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,” Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services Secretary Marketa Garner Walters said. “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.”
Recipients should check retailer websites for information about their offerings and features. Some grocery retailers have offered SNAP clients the ability to shop online and arrange for pick-up and payment at the store. That option will still be available from retailers that offer it.
All EBT retailers must be approved by the USDA FNS 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. For more information about becoming a SNAP online retailer visit the USDA FNS online retailer webpage.
What does this mean for Louisianans?
In January 2022, there were 419,910 Louisiana households (858,731 individuals) receiving SNAP benefits. For the same period, there were 10,372 Louisiana households on cash assistance (FITAP) and 9,391 households receiving Kinship Care subsidies (KCSP). In 2021, because of the pandemic and four separate severe weather events, Louisiana issued EBT cards to about 1.7 million P-EBT and DSNAP recipients (1.5 million P-EBT recipients and 192,500 DSNAP recipients).
“Online purchasing helps ensure families have ready access to plentiful groceries with fresh produce. This can be an issue especially for families without adequate transportation, “ said DCFS Assistant Secretary of Family Support Shavana Howard. “Our research indicates that one in 10 households in Louisiana does not have access to a vehicle, and in many parts of the state residents live up to 10 miles or more from the nearest grocery store. “
EBT card holders may use the LifeinCheck app on their cellphones to manage the online grocery shopping process. This special feature allows recipients to monitor balances and search for coupons.