Florida to pilot online food buying for those with SNAP benefit

  • Graphic of generic SNAP benefit card.
    Graphic of generic SNAP benefit card.

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) announced Tuesday it will pilot a program for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to purchase groceries online with the use of an EBT card. SNAP participants are automatically eligible to participate in this program and do not need to apply.

Utilization of food assistance benefits remains limited to the purchasing of eligible grocery items and cannot be used to pay for delivery services.

A pilot program will launch in Tallahassee on April 16 expanding statewide on April 21.

Jim Johnson, EVP of Payments and Wealth for Florida’s EBT vendor, FIS, said he looks forward to the successful implementation of the pilot. 

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.

“More than 250 of our stores in Florida have pickup options and we’ll be ready to serve customers using SNAP no matter how they shop with us,” Beverly Cole, the senior director of payment acceptance with Walmart, said in the release.

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.

“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, adding that she looked forward to “expanding our capabilities in supporting under-served customers.”

For more information, go to https://myflfamilies.com/covid19/access.shtml or call 1-866-762-2237.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), called food assistance in Florida and formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, provides food benefits, access to a healthy diet, and education on food preparation and nutrition to low-income households. Recipients spend their benefits (provided on an electronic card that is used like an ATM card) to buy eligible food. Until now, those purchases had to be made in an authorized retail "brick and mortar" food store.
SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net.