Walmart and Amazon have extended their programmes which allows customers to buy online groceries with food stamps.
The two largest retailers in the US have extended a pilot programme with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) allowing customers who receive Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Programme (SNAP) benefits, also known as food stamps, to buy food online to another US state.
Customer in Greater Seattle, and soon the rest of Washington, will now be able to by for online grocery orders with SNAP payments via Amazon.
Walmart now also accepts SNAP payments from customers across all of Washington, though SNAP recipients are not eligible for home delivery and must collect online orders instore.
Amazon shoppers will be able to shop its grocery and household sections on AmazonFresh and Prime Pantry without requiring a membership fee and receive home delivery on orders over a minimum cost.
Last April the pair launched pilot schemes to begin accepting SNAP payments in New York alongside ShopRite, but the pilot will eventually be rolled out to Alabama, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey and Oregon and potentially nationally.
“Access to Amazon’s grocery selection, as well as Amazon Fresh and Pantry, increases access for low-income Washington residents by adding a new SNAP redemption option and the convenience of home delivery,” director of underserved populations at Amazon Kristina Herrmann said.
“As we expand participating areas throughout the life of the pilot, Amazon believes the program will dramatically increase access to food for more remote customers and help to mitigate the public health crisis of food deserts.”
A Walmart spokesperson added: “We continue to be excited to be part of the USDA’s pilot program and to be able to make our grocery pickup and delivery service available to more and more people, regardless of their payment method.
“Access to convenience, quality and fresh groceries shouldn’t be dictated by how you pay. We have a strong presence in the states in which the pilot is live and we look forward to expanding.”