Merkley Announces Online Food Assistance Program For Oregon

A program intended to allow SNAP recipients to purchase food on-line is coming to Oregon. On Monday, Senator Jeff Merkley announced the expansion of a pilot program allowing recipients in Oregon to use their benefits to purchase food online from Amazon and Walmart.

The program is administered by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service offered in April in New York to test the feasibility of a nationwide on-line program.

“For hundreds of thousands of Oregonians, SNAP benefits are the difference between being able to afford food or going to bed hungry,” said Merkley. “But between coordinating transportation, working multiple jobs, and staying home to take care of loved ones, accessing a grocery store can be a big challenge, especially given the lack of full-service grocery stores in so many lower income neighborhoods. This pilot program will test an innovative way to overcome that problem, so we help more families keep food on their tables.”

Oregon is the twelfth hungriest state in America, with over 600,000 SNAP recipients and countless food deserts—urban areas where residents have to travel over a mile to access a grocery store, or rural areas where residents have to travel over 10 miles—many of which are located in low-income and rural communities.

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