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SNAP Participants Can Now Buy Food Online 

Pilot program launched in March goes live for all Oregonians on assistance—though options are limited in eastern and central Oregon

Oregonians who use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can now buy their groceries online, using their SNAP cards. The change makes it possible for people to order goods through both Amazon and Walmart—though in Central Oregon, the service, at this point, is fairly limited.

Just this month, the Oregon Department of Human Services began a 
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pilot program that allowed SNAP participants in Portland and Grants Pass to buy from those two retail giants, but with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, both retailers moved up their dates for expanding the programs statewide, according to DHS.

While the change makes it possible for people with SNAP statewide to order groceries online, Walmart doesn't yet have delivery service at any of its stores in central and eastern Oregon, according to Wal-Mart's "Find a Store Near You" function. Walmart has a grocery pickup option available for the Redmond location, according to the store's site, but not Bend.

Amazon's food delivery service, Amazon Fresh, was not available in Bend when we checked for delivery options on Thursday. The online purchasing pilot works at those two retailers just for delivery or pickup, DHS told the Source.

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With the governor's "Stay Home Stay Safe" order Oregonians are encouraged to stay home as much as possible right now, going out for groceries—especially for the immunocompromised—can be a risk. 

“Convenience, quality and fresh groceries should not be determined by how someone pays," stated Dan Haun, Self-Sufficiency Programs director at the Oregon Department of Human Services in a release Thursday. "The expansion will increase food access for those who experience challenges visiting brick-and-mortar stores.”

“We appreciate the accommodations that many retailers have made to support individuals at high risk of serious health consequences from COVID-19,” stated Mike McCormick, interim director of the DHS Office of Aging and People with Disabilities in Thursday's release. “Anything we can do to help Oregonians access necessities and limit their potential exposure to illness, is absolutely crucial at this time.”

To continue to process applications and help those who may not have access to the internet, DHS has local offices open.

Find the nearest office at:

About The Author

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. (Blame her for everything since then.) Favorite car: A Trek commuter bike. Favorite cat: An adopted dog who looks like a Jedi master. Favorite things, besides responding to your comments: Downton Abbey re-runs, Aretha Franklin albums, and pink wine.
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