The Illinois Department of Human Services announced Wednesday that the state will enable all 1.8 million SNAP recipients to buy food from grocery store retailers online.
This new purchasing option has been approved by the federal government and will begin June 2.
“To keep more families safe and healthy, my administration is expanding the ways in which SNAP recipients can acquire groceries to include online purchasing,” Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said. “The best part is that in addition to helping families shop a little easier and safer during this pandemic, this is a permanent new feature of the SNAP landscape in Illinois that will support our residents for many years to come.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the plan, which gives SNAP customers the ability to enter their personal identification number to order groceries online. All SNAP recipients with Link cards in Illinois will be able to participate and will be alerted when they can use their card to make food orders. Customers will not need to call or visit an office and traditional SNAP purchasing will continue.
Walmart and Amazon have agreed to accept online orders in Illinois once the program site launches. Any additional retailers interested in joining the program can find more information and apply at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/online-purchasing-pilot.
“The individuals and families we serve are often facing tremendous obstacles in their lives,” Central Illinois Foodbank Executive Director Pam Molitoris said. “Giving them an online option to access quality food is the right thing to do, and I’m grateful to Governor Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Human Services and the US Department of Agriculture for making this option possible.”