Online purchases approved for Mississippi SNAP recipients

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved online purchases for Mississippi SNAP recipients. 

The Mississippi Department of Human Services announced Friday that Mississippians in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households will soon be able to make online food purchases using their benefits. While a start date has not yet been announced, DHS says that the approval will allow Mississippi to expedite the implementation of online purchasing with currently authorized SNAP online retailers.

“This is a major step forward in eliminating the dilemma caused by food insecurity and food deserts in Mississippi,” MDHS Executive Director Robert G. “Bob” Anderson said. “We appreciate FNS providing oversight of such a necessary program, which will give Mississippians healthy eating options who otherwise might not have them.”

As it stands, Walmart and Amazon will be the first two authorized SNAP online retailers in Mississippi. Any local retailers who wish to apply for approval for receiving online purchases should review the FNS website https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailer-requirements-provide-online-purchasing to determine what information is needed to apply.

Since the purpose of SNAP is only to purchase food, SNAP funds cannot be used for shipping online purchases. An alternate means of payment must be used for shipping charges.

The Food and Nutrition Service will administer the program.

Mississippi’s SNAP participation is more than 420,000 individuals, more than 195,000 households, and totals $606 million annually in federal benefits. Mississippi distributed nearly $82 million in SNAP disbursements throughout Mississippi during April 2020 alone.