U.S Department of Agriculture approves Florida request for online grocery shopping with the SNAP program

(WCJB)
Published: Apr. 11, 2020 at 9:14 PM EDT
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On Saturday the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the approval of the state's request to allow online grocery shopping through the SNAP program.

About 3 million Floridians participate in SNAP.

“I thank the USDA and Secretary Perdue for granting the state’s request to bring safer grocery options to Florida’s families in need,” said Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried.

“Through this innovative pilot program, SNAP households can purchase food online and pay using their EBT card at pickup, among other options. This reduces shopping risk from COVID-19, helps fulfill consumer demand, and keeps Florida-grown products moving to families.”

The Florida Department of Children and Families will decide the structure of the new SNAP online program.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is also working with the Department of Children and Families to add the new Pandemic EBT program. This will allow families who qualify for free and reduced lunch at school, to become eligible for SNAP benefits.

Commissioner Fried and FDACS also are helping farmers distribute their products to markets.

Emergency orders have been issued by Fried to temporarily waive labeling requirements for egg cartons, as well as weight and size limits for trucks carrying agricultural products.

Fried also requested that retailers stop consumer purchase limits on milk in order to reduce milk dumping by dairy processors.

She also has gone after quicker USDA and SBA relief for Florida farmers, and has activated the Summer BreakSpot program which gives free meals to the millions of children out of school due to COVID-19.