Skip to main content

SNAP Online Shopping Expansion Team Honored as Finalists for Service to America Medal

Press Release
Release No.
FNS 009.23
Contact: FNS Press Team

WASHINGTON, May 12, 2023 – This week, USDA Food and Nutrition Service employees were announced as finalists for the 2023 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, also known as the Sammies, run by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service. The Sammies are the premier awards program honoring excellence and innovation in federal service.

Selected from more than 350 impressive nominations, FNS employees Lisa Gifaldi, Shelly Pierce and Andrea Gold were named Management Excellence finalists for their role in expeditiously expanding the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot, a system that allows millions of Americans to use their SNAP benefits to purchase food online. Many others within the agency supported their pivotal work.

“As we celebrate Public Service Recognition Week, I want to express my deep appreciation to the SNAP staff who worked tirelessly to expand access to online purchasing for program participants,” said Stacy Dean, deputy under secretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. “Their dedication and commitment to helping Americans access healthy food in a safe and convenient way has made a real difference in the lives of millions.”

The SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot was operating as a fledgling pilot in just a handful of states in 2020, and within six months, Gifaldi, Pierce, Gold and their colleagues turned it into what is now a 49-state program, with the 50th state in a testing phase, including more than 200 retailers, ranging from national corporations like Amazon and Walmart to small family-owned stores in remote communities. Thanks to their efforts – and the collaboration of partners nationwide – by the end of 2022, more than 4 million households each month used SNAP benefits to make at least one online order. SNAP online shopping accounted for close to $9 billion in SNAP benefits redeemed last year.

“This program not only met the needs of the moment during the pandemic, but it is having a transformative effect going forward,” said Tim English, associate administrator of FNS Regional Operations and Support.

Since its inception in 2002, the Sammies have honored over 700 outstanding federal employees. Gifaldi, Pierce and Gold are among 47 federal employees across 25 federal agencies honored as 2023 Sammies finalists for their outstanding contributions to safety, public health and sustainability across our nation and the world. Visit for more information on the awards and the 2023 finalists.

All finalists are eligible for the Service to America Medals People’s Choice Award. You can support USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service staff by voting for Gifaldi, Pierce and Gold online starting May 8. Voting closes June 30.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service works to end hunger and improve food and nutrition security through a suite of 16 nutrition assistance programs. Together, these programs serve 1 in 4 Americans over the course of a year, promoting consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, and affordable food essential to optimal health and well-being. To learn more about FNS, visit and follow @USDANutrition on Twitter.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Page updated: June 24, 2024