Grocery Shopping Online with SNAP

The IDHS (Illinois Department on Human Aging) has announced that on June 2nd there will be online grocery shopping for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) customers.

The program will be available with any participating retailers including Walmart and Amazon. The list of retailers providing service may grow in the coming weeks as more retailers participate in the program.

How It Works

An implementation plan called the IDHS’ SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) will allow you to enter your PIN into the participating grocers’ online systems.

You will not need to call, visit an office, or do anything further to make sure that you can participate in the program. Anyone with an existing Link card in Illinois will automatically be able to purchase their groceries online at participating locations. Notifications to Link cardholders will go out when they are eligible to start the online grocery purchases.

While delivery fees associated with online purchases are not included and may not be paid for with SNAP benefits. If you would still like groceries delivered with the associated fees that is still an option. Retailer’s websites will list if delivery is option in your area depending on your ZIP code.

Who Is Eligible?

Anyone with an existing Link card in Illinois will be able to automatically purchase groceries online through the program when it begins on June 2nd. There are no other eligibility requirements.

Why it Matters for Seniors

This is especially helpful for senior members of our community. It is a particularly difficult time for many people, and programs like this make all the difference in offering options for individuals in with daily tasks. This will help limit the amount of time spent in the store and the amount of contact with others. This is meant to help keep more individuals safe in this time of uncertainty. And it further increases equity in food access. This program will go beyond the current pandemic and become a permanent feature of SNAP.

Conclusion

This is a difficult time for many families. People are working tirelessly to make sure that individuals have programs in place for equal and safe access to food. This program is still in its beginning stages in many other states. As it launches in Illinois there may be changes and additions that Link cardholders should be notified of.

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