DES MOINES, Iowa — As more Americans seek food assistance amid the coronavirus crisis, stores in Iowa are allowing consumers to use their benefits when ordering groceries online for pickup or delivery.
Participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can pay in-store at most major grocery chains using Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. Now, through the expedited expansion of an online purchasing pilot program run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, households receiving SNAP benefits in 46 states, Iowa included, and the District of Columbia can use EBT to pay for grocery pickup and/or delivery from select retailers.
“Allowing for food delivery and online purchasing, especially during a pandemic, reduces another barrier to families who are having food insecurity to get the nutrition they need. So, most commonly in our food assistance program we’re seeing, not just individuals, but parents with kids. So by allowing this online purchasing and these groceries being delivered, home transportation barriers are taken out of it. People with underlying health concerns who maybe don’t want to go into grocery stores, this also really resolves some of those issues as well,” Janee Harvey, DHS Division Administrator for Adult Children and Family Services.
Not only is this for stores like Walmart and Amazon, but also Hy-Vee. In August, all of its store locations that offer Hy-Vee Aisles Online grocery pickup announced that they now accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) as payment at the time of pickup.
SNAP/EBT beneficiaries now can shop online for groceries at Hy-Vee.com or via the Hy-Vee Aisles Online mobile app and collect their order curbside at a Hy-Vee store. Pickup service is available at more than 250 Hy-Vee stores throughout its eight-state region.