SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced Wednesday the state’s plan to enable 1.8 million SNAP recipients to purchase food from participating grocery stores online has been approved by the federal government.
This new purchasing option will begin on June 2. All Link customers will be alerted when they can use their card to make food orders online.
“To keep more families safe and healthy, my administration is expanding the ways in which SNAP recipients can acquire groceries to include online purchasing,” Pritzker said. “The best part is that in addition to helping families shop a little easier and safer during this pandemic, this is a permanent new feature of the SNAP landscape in Illinois that will support our residents for many years to come.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved IDHS’ SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Online implementation plan, which gives SNAP customers the ability to enter their Personal Identification Number (PIN) to order groceries online. All SNAP recipients with Link cards in Illinois will be able to participate.
“I partnered with Senator Duckworth and Governor Pritzker’s Administration to push USDA to address technological barriers by approving Illinois’ request to let SNAP recipients buy their groceries online,” said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). “This step will help millions of people in our state safely put food on the table. I will continue to look for ways to expand access to SNAP benefits and food programs as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic so people do not go hungry.”
Walmart and Amazon have agreed to accept online orders in Illinois once the program site launches. Additional grocery retailers are welcome to join EBT Online.
“As someone whose family depended on food stamps and reduced-price meals after my father lost his job when I was in high school, I know firsthand just how important access to affordable food can be,” U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) said. “I also know that no individual or family should be disadvantaged or have to choose between putting themselves and their families at risk or going hungry simply because they rely on SNAP benefits.”
Any retailers interested in the program can find more information and apply at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/online-purchasing-pilot.