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Pilot will allow Texas SNAP recipients to order groceries online by May 18

Initially, people receiving SNAP benefits who take part in the pilot program will be able to order from Amazon and Walmart.
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Updated Thursday with new details about the timeline in Texas.

Texas has been approved to take part in a pilot program that will allow people receiving SNAP benefits to order groceries online.

The move is to ensure the health and safety of Texas families while still allowing them access to the resources they need, Gov. Greg Abbott said in a release.

The program is supposed to be operational statewide by May 18, the governor said in a release Thursday. 

“Adding another option for Texans using SNAP to get the healthy and nutritious food their families need helps ease the minds of families and limit their exposure to COVID-19," said Wayne Salter, deputy executive commissioner of Health and Human Services Access and Eligibility.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue approved requests Monday from Texas, Kentucky and Missouri to implement online purchasing with current authorized SNAP retailers. 

As of Tuesday, Amazon and Walmart are authorized to work with all pilot states, according to the USDA. They will are the only two retailers initially taking part in the program in Texas.

Texas has more than 3.2 million people and 1.4 million households who receive SNAP benefits, according to the USDA. The program in Texas totals nearly $5 billion in federal funding a year.

The online pilot is already operational in six other states, and USDA previously announced a number of states would be joining. In total, once all states are operational, 25 states will allow access to online retailers.

In order to join the pilot program, state agencies much work with their third-party processor and retailers to launch, with the USDA providing support.

Texas residents are able to access SNAP benefits using the Lone Star Card, provided by local Health and Human Services Commission benefit offices.

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