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Urban News Staff Reports

New Jersey Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients will be able to use their benefits to order groceries online from approved online retailers. This will help protect the program’s recipients amidst the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.

Officials from The New Jersey Department of Human Services say that SNAP recipients can purchase groceries online through Amazon and at participating Walmarts, ShopRites and The Fresh Grocers.

“During these challenging times, many Americans are newly unemployed and struggling to afford basic necessities. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, over 700,000 New Jerseyans, including children, seniors, and people with disabilities, relied on SNAP, and that number has only continued to increase,” said Sen. Booker. “Allowing New Jerseyans to use their SNAP benefits for online purchases will ensure that our most vulnerable populations are not forced to face increased health risks while putting food on the table.”

“We must ensure our most vulnerable communities have access to food during this crisis,” said Sen. Menendez. “As more and more families turn to online food shopping to avoid going to crowded stores during this outbreak, families that rely on SNAP deserve to have the same access. This will keep families across New Jersey fed and healthy as we continue combatting this pandemic.”

“During this pandemic, we need to keep a special eye out for the neediest among us who so often fall through the cracks,” said Rep. Pascrell. “All Americans must be able to buy food without excuses or technical hurdles. In the year 2020, being able to purchase groceries online has become a norm and this change makes absolute sense. We are gratified the administration listened to reason. This commonsense measure will help keep stomachs filled.”

In April 2019, New Jersey was made eligible to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) online program but was never formally admitted. In March, as the coronavirus started spreading throughout the state, Sens. Booker and Menendez and Rep. Pascrell called on the USDA to admit New Jersey in the program.

SNAP is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program and currently benefits 705,000 New Jersey residents. The majority of SNAP beneficiaries in New Jersey are families with children, and more than 37% are families with members who are elderly or have disabilities. In April, Sen. Booker led members of New Jersey’s Congressional Delegation in urging Congressional leadership to incorporate provisions in future COVID-19 legislation that will bolster SNAP and protect those facing food insecurity as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2016, Senator Booker led several other members of New Jersey’s federal delegation in a letter urging the USDA to launch a pilot program to enable SNAP participants to purchase their groceries online.

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