Food stamps are such a political football, people will say horrible things in public to those who need them. But despite that, the march of technology has meant many, including mogul Russell Simmons, have called on the US Department of Agriculture to allow them to be used online. Now, that appears to finally be happening, and with some surprising players.
Mashable reports that Amazon, FreshDirect, and other online grocers are participating in a new plan — in a joing effort with the USDA. — that allows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits to be used to buy groceries online. Before you ask, the benefits can only be used for SNAP approved foods and won’t be applied to delivery fees or other charges. Part of the USDA’s program is to figure out whether it makes more sense to use the benefits for delivery or for online ordering to pick up in person. SNAP, as a reminder, is supposed to help fill in the nutritional gaps, and being able to use those online will help.
Food deserts are still a major problem in much of America, and this would help address it, not to mention saving SNAP users some time. Being able to just buy what they need on their phones — everybody has a smartphone these days — and go would ensure more time to cook healthy meals, and help keep healthy food in houses across America.