Lifestyle

Mass. to participate in pilot program that would let EBT cardholders purchase groceries online

Federal SNAP rules generally prohibit online purchases with an EBT card.

Employees package online grocery orders in the storage area of Justo, an online supermarket in Mexico City, Friday, April 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano) (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts has won approval to participate in a pilot program designed to let households that receive food assistance benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program purchase groceries online with Electronic Benefit Transfer cards.

Massachusetts applied to participate in the federal pilot program in April recently won approval.

The change will help families facing food insecurity during the pandemic by expanding safer grocery options, state Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders said in a press release.

Federal SNAP rules generally prohibit online purchases with an EBT card.

In 2019, the USDA established a six-state pilot program to explore online SNAP EBT transactions for food purchases.

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In response to COVID-19, USDA allowed additional states to apply to participate in the pilot program.

The state will now work with the state’s EBT vendor, Conduent, and the two retailers participating in the federal pilot program, Walmart and Amazon, to launch the state’s plan as soon as possible, officials said.

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