The National Grocers Association has launched a SNAP Online Purchasing Toolkit to help independent grocers add SNAP as a payment option for online orders—a process the Washington, D.C.-based association said is often technically and financially burdensome for smaller retailers.
“Due to these obstacles, chain retailers often have an edge against smaller businesses,” said Molly Pfaffenroth, senior director of government relations for NGA, in a release. “While independent grocers have aggressively pursued expansion of their e-commerce platforms to meet demand, SNAP online shoppers continue to be underserved. And for many Americans, the independent community supermarket is the only lifeline in their struggle against food insecurity.”
The toolkit—created using information gathered during interviews with retailers, e-commerce providers and third-party processors after the pilot program was expanded in 2020—provides detailed information on the SNAP online purchasing requirements retailers must meet in order to participate in the program. There are also tips and instructions for getting set up and a template letter of intent for retailers to email to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, along with background information on the program.
The toolkit also includes information about The Kellogg Co.’s “Better Days” program, which is designed to combat worldwide hunger.
NGA has been advocating for government assistance in accepting SNAP online since the beginning of the pandemic. President Joe Biden’s recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 addresses some of the association’s concerns by allocating $25 million to make technological improvements to the program, including improving online purchasing, modernizing the electronic benefits transfer system and supporting mobile payment technologies.