WASHINGTON, May 13, 2020 — District of Columbia households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits can purchase groceries online starting today at Amazon.com, increasing their access to healthy food during the COVID-19 pandemic. D.C. SNAP recipients will be able to purchase food using their (Electronic Benefit Transfer) EBT card for at-home delivery for the following programs: Amazon groceries, Amazon Pantry, and Amazon Fresh.
Recipients who wish to participate in the online program can visit amazon.com/snap-ebt to create an Amazon account, or add their card to an existing account, and begin shopping. Amazon is also giving participants the opportunity to register for Amazon Prime at a discounted rate of $5.99 a month using an EBT or Medicaid Card.
D.C. was one of several states approved to participate in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) online purchasing pilot project. SNAP recipients can choose delivery from one of Amazon’s online grocery stores, but those who choose delivery will have to pay a fee since benefits are limited to actual purchases. Order over $25 will get free delivery.
“Online delivery is a welcomed option for residents in under-resourced neighborhoods,” said Beverley Wheeler, director of D.C. Hunger Solutions. “Even before COVID-19 made in-person grocery shopping a challenge, nearly 162,000 D.C. residents east of the river only had access to three grocery stores. Online ordering can help close the grocery gap. We’re thankful to the Department of Human Services for working quickly to make this available and hope the USDA will soon approve more retailers soon.”
COVID-19 has led to unprecedented changes to the everyday lives of D.C. residents. Stay-at-home orders have been issued to help slow the spread of the virus, but they have also deeply limited children’s access to food with ongoing school closures, placed stress on meal delivery service and food banks, and served as a challenge for newly unemployed D.C. residents. The Amazon program will ensure D.C. residents who are most vulnerable and have the most need, gain access to healthy food while staying home during the pandemic.
D.C. Hunger Solutions, an initiative of the Food Research & Action Center, works to end hunger in the nation’s capital and improve the nutrition, health, economic security, and well-being of low-income District residents.