Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

South Carolina approved for online SNAP purchasing

Staff Report //June 16, 2020//

South Carolina approved for online SNAP purchasing

Staff Report //June 16, 2020//

Listen to this article

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include Friday's approval of S.C. participation in the USDA's Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program.

South Carolina, along with Utah, has been approved to provide online Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program purchasing.

The states will be able to provide online food purchases to participating households through authorized SNAP retailers, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today. A target start date will be announced at a later time, according to a news release from Perdue’s office.

South Carolina’s SNAP participation of more than 558,000 individuals and 259,000 households totals $855 million annually in federal benefits, according to the release. Utah’s SNAP participation is more than 160,000 individuals and more than 67,000 households and totals $235 million annually in federal benefits.

SNAP online purchasing is currently operational in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The authorized retailers working with all states are Amazon and Walmart, according to the release. The U.S. Department of Agriculture previously announced Delaware, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and South Dakota would also be implementing online purchasing in the near future.

"We continue to be excited to be part of the USDA's pilot program and to be able to make our grocery pickup and delivery service available to more and more people, regardless of their payment method," Walmart said in a statement. "Now more than ever, customers are relying on our pickup and delivery services to give them access to quality, fresh groceries, and we believe that shouldn't be dictated by how you pay."

With the addition of these states, more than 90% of all households receiving SNAP will have access to online purchasing, according to the USDA release.

On Friday, the USDA announced that South Carolina and Nebraska have been approved to operate Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, a supplemental benefit to current SNAP participants and a new benefit to eligible households aimed at offseting the costs of meals that otherweise would have been provided at school. 

South Carolina had approximately 494,000 children eligible for free and reduced-price lunch for the 2019-2020 school year, the USDA said.