USDA approves SNAP benefits online

PIERRE, S.D. (DRG News) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved South Dakota’s request to be able to provide online purchasing of food to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program households– but the start date has yet to be determined.

The approval allows the state Department of Social Services to expedite the implementation of online purchasing with currently authorized SNAP online retailers. South Dakota’s SNAP participation is more than more than 35,000 households, 75,000 individuals and totals $122 million annually in federal benefits.

DSS Secretary Laurie Gill said the online option will offer another alternative for South Dakotans in remote areas who may struggle with access to fresh foods. She said DSS will work with its EBT vendor to complete the necessary technical changes needed for the pilot program and seek partnership with approved retailers. SNAP benefits will still be able to be used at existing retailers.

Until states are prepared to operate the pilot, USDA recommends using other options retailers may already provide, such as Pay at Pick-up (also known as “Click and Collect”), where SNAP cardholders can shop online and then pay for their purchase using their EBT card at pick-up. Grocery pickup is already an option that these retailers offer beyond SNAP so they are already thinking through how they can provide a safe environment to do so with the growing concerns around social distancing.

For more information on the Online Pilot Program, visit