The Rome Wal-mart Supercenter at 5815 Rome-Taberg Road is serving as a site for a nationwide test of a program in which people using the main federal food-aid program can order groceries online, the company announced.
The two-year test was started last week in New York, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced. According to the Agriculture Department, the system allows online purchasing by households in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program with electronic benefit transfer, or EBT, cards in New York. Online retailers will be limited to delivery in the pilot areas only.
The pilot is testing both online ordering and payment. SNAP participants may use their benefits to buy eligible food but not to pay for delivery or service charges.
Amazon and ShopRite are also part of the test, providing service in the New York City area, while Wal-mart is providing it upstate. The pilot is expected to be expanded to other areas of New York state as well as to Alabama, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington.
“People who receive SNAP benefits should have the opportunity to shop for food the same way more and more Americans shop for food – by ordering and paying for groceries online. As technology advances, it is important for SNAP to advance too, so we can ensure the same shopping options are available for both non-SNAP and SNAP recipients,” Agriculture Secretary Perdue said in a statement. “We look forward to monitoring how these pilots increase food access and customer service to those we serve, specifically those who may experience challenges in visiting brick and mortar stores.”