Oregonians can now use their SNAP benefit cards to buy groceries online from Amazon and Walmart, according to the Department of Human Services.
The goal is to keep SNAP recipients and their families safe from COVID-19 by opening new avenues for social distancing.
Oregon has been exploring ways to increase access to food including a pilot project to provide Oregonians the opportunities to purchase groceries online with SNAP benefits.
This month, the Department of Human Services (DHS) provided access to online purchasing in Portland and Grants Pass at Walmart and Amazon. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, both retailers moved up their expansion dates for online food shopping to help those who are unable or who have difficulty getting to the store another option to purchase food.
“We are grateful that these retailers expanded their grocery services to all Oregonians receiving SNAP benefits,” said Dan Haun, Self-Sufficiency Programs director at the Oregon Department of Human Services. “Convenience, quality and fresh groceries should not be determined by how someone pays. The expansion will increase food access for those who experience challenges visiting brick-and-mortar stores.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the number of people eligible for SNAP, the ability to purchase groceries online supports physical distancing necessary to help slow the spread of the virus.
“We appreciate the accommodations that many retailers have made to support individuals at high risk of serious health consequences from COVID-19,” said Mike McCormick, interim director of the DHS Office of Aging and People with Disabilities. “Anything we can do to help Oregonians access necessities and limit their potential exposure to illness, is absolutely crucial at this time.”
If your work hours are reduced or you lose your job, you may become eligible for SNAP if you meet eligibility requirements. You can apply for SNAP benefits without visiting an office. Apply online at OHP.Oregon.Gov.
DHS is keeping local offices open during this pandemic to serve people who do not have access to the Internet.
To find an office in your community: https://www.oregon.gov/DHS/Offices/Pages/Self-Sufficiency.aspx.