May 12, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced the launch of a statewide pilot program allowing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to purchase groceries online at participating retailers for curbside pickup or delivery starting May 13, according to a news release.
“As we respond to this pandemic, the state of Texas is committed to helping SNAP recipients throughout the state access nutritious food for their families,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “I thank HHSC for launching this new program and for its continued work to help Texans in need while containing the spread of COVID-19.”
Starting Wednesday, SNAP recipients can visit participating retailer websites and use their Lone Star Card to purchase groceries for curbside pickup or delivery. Currently, participating retailers in Texas are Walmart and Amazon.
“This innovative initiative helps provide healthy food to Texas families who need it the most during this challenging time,” said Wayne Salter, HHS Access and Eligibility Deputy Executive Commissioner. “We’re committed to reducing food insecurity for at-risk Texans.”
SNAP funds may only be used for grocery purchases. Other associated charges such as delivery or convenience fees may not be paid for with SNAP benefits. SNAP recipients do not need to make any changes or updates to their account to use this new benefit and only need their PIN to complete transactions.
This expedited launch is the latest in the COVID-19 response for SNAP recipients in Texas, which includes recipients having their renewal requirements temporarily waived and receiving the maximum eligible allotment by household. SNAP recipients will see the maximum allotment amount on their Lone Star Card by May 15 and do not need to take any further action to receive additional benefits.
This program provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of families in need, so they can purchase healthy food and move toward self-sufficiency. In Texas, SNAP benefits are put onto the Lone Star Card (EBT card), which can be used just like a credit card at any store that accepts SNAP. Texas Health and Human Services administers the federal program throughout the state. More information about SNAP benefits is available here.