Walmart is now accepting federal benefit payments for online grocery orders in 39 states, including at pickup in some locations.
The discount giant is one of several retailers (including chief rival Amazon) that has been participating in a pilot with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that allows consumers who receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits — typically referred to as food stamps — to purchase groceries online for home delivery.
After initially launching the online SNAP pilot in Washington state, Walmart has been rolling the program out across the country. To date, nearly 3,000 stores in 39 states are enabling customers who pay for groceries with SNAP benefits to have access to Walmart’s online pickup and delivery service, without having to meet the usual $35 minimum threshold for a digital order.
Through the pilot, customers can complete SNAP payments during online checkout instead of at the point of pickup, eliminating physical contact between associates and customers. In states that do not offer the online transaction of SNAP, Walmart offers SNAP at pickup. This allows customers to place their grocery order online with Walmart and transact using their SNAP benefit card for payment at the time of pickup in all stores with the pickup option.
States in which the program is live include Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington state, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The 2014 Farm Bill authorized USDA to conduct and evaluate a pilot for online purchasing prior to national implementation. The pilot phase is intended to ensure online transactions are processed safely and securely. USDA anticipates all eligible and interested retailers who can meet the requirements to process online SNAP transactions will eventually be able to take part, though the timeline is dependent on the progress of the pilot and any regulations which may need to be issued.