The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to launch a two-year pilot program this summer with seven retailers to allow food stamp recipients the ability to purchase their groceries online.
More than 44 million Americans participated last year in federal government’s low-income food assistance program, called SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Last year, the average benefit each person received was just over $125.50 per month.
“Online purchasing is a potential lifeline for SNAP participants living in urban neighborhoods and rural communities where access to healthy food choices can be limited,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a release. “We’re looking forward to being able to bring the benefits of the online market to low-income Americans participating in SNAP.”
The pilot program will take place in seven states, in both urban and rural areas…
Amazon will participate in the pilot in Maryland, New Jersey and New York. The six other retailers selected include: FreshDirect in New York; Safeway in Maryland, Oregon and Washington; ShopRite in Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; as well as Hart’s Local Grocers and Dash’s Market in certain New York locations.
One in seven Americans is on food stamps? Imagine the K-selection if one in seven Americans was starving.
No word on how delivery charges are handled.
What I wonder is if this is an attempt to avoid having food be sold in specific places that the public can access, which could be targeted by flashmobs in an Apocalypse scenario. Local delivery from hardened, and defendable warehouses would make piracy much more difficult, and less profitable.
Not that it matters. When the system goes down, only an idiot would be accepting electronic currency transfers in return for goods and services.