FNS Launches the Online Purchasing Pilot
SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot
Click on the states listed below that are currently participating in the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot to see the participating retailers:
How will I know when the pilot is available in additional states or with additional retailers?
Several additional states have recently added online purchasing as a shopping option in their state. There are currently no states/territories that have been approved to move forward but are not yet live.
Watch this page for updated information.
How can retailers add SNAP EBT to their retailer web site?
All retailers, including internet retailers, must abide by the FNS retailer stocking requirements in order to be authorized. In addition, SNAP-eligible retailers who want to add online shopping to their ecommerce platform must meet online purchasing requirements and submit a letter of intent to the SNAP Online Purchasing mailbox: email@example.com. If you have already reviewed these webpages, and have additional questions, please see our technical assistance questions and answers.
How will I know if these retailers can deliver to my home?
The best way to determine if grocery delivery is available for your location is to visit the retailer websites.
The delivery zip codes available are those where retailers are able to provide their full line of groceries, which includes the ability to deliver perishable items to that area.
Can SNAP be used to pay for delivery?
Only eligible food may be purchased with SNAP benefits; delivery fees and other associated charges may not be paid for with SNAP benefits.
Is using my EBT card online secure?
The use of your EBT card online will still require your unique personal-identification-number (PIN). There are currently two companies that have a PCI compliant method of encrypted-PIN entry that is necessary for online shopping. All participating pilot retailers must work with one of these companies to offer secure PIN entry.
Online Purchasing Background
The 2014 Farm Bill (PL 113-79) mandated a pilot be conducted to test the feasibility and implications of allowing retail food stores to accept SNAP benefits through online transactions. For households to make online purchases, the online shopping and payment pilot is required to be secure, private, easy to use, and provide similar support to that found for SNAP transactions in a retail store. Benefits cannot be used to pay for fees of any type, such as delivery, service, or convenience fees. The pilot will involve at least five online retailers in at least three states. The goal is to ensure that the foundational infrastructure necessary for running SNAP transactions online operates in a safe and secure manner.
On Sept. 15, 2016, FNS released a request for retailer volunteers (RFV) to solicit applications for a two-year SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot (Pilot). To be eligible to apply, applicants had to meet the requirements outlined in the RFV. Applications were due by Nov. 7, 2016.
FNS Announces Selection of Retailers
On Jan. 5, 2017, FNS announced the selection of eight retailers for the initial launch of the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot (i.e., Amazon, Dash’s Market, Fresh Direct, Hy-Vee, Inc., Safeway, ShopRite, Walmart Stores Inc., and Wright’s Markets, Inc.). Since that time, FNS offered participation in phase one of the pilot to additional retailers.
Based on selections made by each retailer during the application process, and subsequent agreement by the state agency, the eight states were selected to be part of the pilot (Alabama, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington).
The SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot began April 2019 in the State of New York, followed by Washington in January 2020. In early March 2020, Alabama, Iowa, and Oregon also launched the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot. On April 1, 2020, the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot expanded to Nebraska.