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South Dakota seeking to join online SNAP pilot





South Dakota seeking to join online SNAP pilot

PIERRE – South Dakotans enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) may have the option of buying groceries online in the future, the Department of Social Services announced today.

South Dakota will submit a request to join the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Online Pilot Program, which would allow SNAP recipients to use their Electronic Benefit Transaction card (EBT) to make online purchases at authorized SNAP retailers. The request, being made in response to challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, is anticipated to be submitted within the month.

“Access to food is fundamental to the overall health of South Dakota families and that is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Department of Social Services (DSS) Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill. “DSS is always looking for effective options to better serve the people of South Dakota. This program will allow South Dakotans in remote areas who may struggle with access to fresh foods another alternative.”

DSS will work with its EBT vendor to complete the necessary technical changes needed for the pilot program and seek partnership with approved retailers.

“We are excited about the opportunity this brings for the people of South Dakota,” Gill said. “In the coming months, we will be working with our partners at the federal level and retailers in South Dakota to launch this program change.”

SNAP benefits will still be able to be used at existing retailers and the online program will allow additional options for food purchases.

“The SNAP program is a crucial safety net for thousands of South Dakotans who struggle to afford food for their families,” Gill said. “We are proud of the assistance we provide to individuals and families in every corner of the state every single day.”

For more information on the Online Pilot Program, visit https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/online-purchasing-pilot.