Most Americans who use food stamps must shop at stores, which are at risk of coronavirus | Instant News

“We feel this is a good choice to help ensure a social step, helping people who qualify for our program have different options in the grocery store delivery method,” Hardin said. “This is a great tool considering the current environment now.”

Countries are preparing for the entry of SNAP recipients because of the economic craters from massive closures in various industries which have caused millions of layoffs.

Hardin said that Alabama usually receives 28,000 SNAP applications that are processed online per month. But over a 10-day period at the end of March – right when many people started applying for unemployment benefits – the department saw 24,000 applications.

Washington state, which was one of the first places affected by the pandemic, has seen a similar increase in registration, and officials expect participation in online ordering to increase as the outbreak continues, said Babs Roberts, director of the Community Services Division. Application rates for the country’s food aid program have jumped by around 80 percent in the past two weeks, he said.

“The program itself is frankly from my point of view it might have been long overdue,” Roberts said. “People have been using credit and debit cards for several years, and I like this program to provide equal access and opportunities for low-income individuals. It feels very fair to be able to do this. “

Members of Congress are trying to increase access to food delivery purchased with food stamps during a pandemic outside of the USDA online pilot program. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) Introduces a bill that will encourage retailers to deliver food to SNAP participants by allowing EBT cards to be swiped in their homes or when orders are taken at the store.

It will also authorize a public-private partnership between the USDA and an official SNAP retailer to support food delivery and provide $ 500 million in funding through state agencies to reimburse retailers for food delivery costs for SNAP participants.

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