Texans get permission to use SNAP for online grocery shopping

Texas residents may now use SNAP benefits to purchase groceries online during the COVID-19 pandemic.Walmart is among the first retailers to join the state's pilot program, which starts on May 18. (File)

WACO, Texas (KWTX) The Texas Department of Health and Human Services announced on Thursday it has received federal approval to allow Texans to purchase groceries online using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walmart and Amazon are the first retailers to join the pilot program, which is expected to begin on May 18.

"By allowing SNAP recipients to purchase groceries online throughout the COVID-19 response, we are removing barriers to healthy and nutritious food for many families in Texas," said Governor Greg Abbott.

"I am grateful to our federal partners at the USDA for approving this request."

“Because families, including SNAP recipients, have had to adjust to social distancing and staying home when possible, some homes have encountered challenges when finding certain grocery items,” said HHS Access and Eligibility Deputy Executive Commissioner Wayne Salter.

“Adding another option for Texans using SNAP to get the healthy and nutritious food their families need helps ease the minds of families and limit their exposure to COVID-19.”

Texas recently announced SNAP beneficiaries in the state were going to get the maximum amount of food stamps allowed according to the size of their family.

The state also temporarily waived all renewal requirements for SNAP beneficiaries.