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Online grocery purchases approved for ‘SNAP’ program

Gov. Ron DeSantis asked the Department of Children and Families to request a federal waiver for Florida to launch a pilot project to allow families to purchase groceries online with their Electronic Benefit Transfer card amid the spread of the coronavirus.
Gov. Ron DeSantis asked the Department of Children and Families to request a federal waiver for Florida to launch a pilot project to allow families to purchase groceries online with their Electronic Benefit Transfer card amid the spread of the coronavirus. (pixabay.com)

Low-income people in the state’s major food-assistance program will be able to make online grocery purchases to help protect them from the spread of COVID-19.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced Saturday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had approved the online-purchase plan for Florida’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP.

Participants in the program, which is administered by the Florida Department of Children and Families, use electronic benefits cards similar to ATM cards to buy food.

"Through this innovative pilot program, SNAP households can purchase food online and pay using their EBT card at pickup, among other options,” Fried said in a prepared statement. “This reduces shopping risk from COVID-19, helps fulfill consumer demand and keeps Florida-grown products moving to families.”

An announcement from Fried’s office said the Department of Children and Families would determine the structure of the online program.