- The National Grocers Association Foundation (NGAF) announced on Thursday it is the recipient of a $5 million USDA grant for SNAP online purchasing.
- These funds will finance the creation of a technical assistance center that will assist grocers with the steps to implement SNAP payments for online orders and also support a mobile payments pilot for SNAP recipients.
- The upcoming technical assistance center builds on the NGAF’s work to provide technical assistance to independent grocers involved with the SNAP program.
The to-be-created SNAP EBT Modernization Technical Assistance Center will help independent retailers meet the complex requirements to enable SNAP digital purchasing, including the program’s e-commerce and mobile payment services, per the announcement.
“Independent community grocers have been actively pursuing expansion of their online purchasing platforms, including online SNAP and mobile payment capabilities, to meet the ever-growing consumer demand for online shopping, but obstacles and a lack of resources have hindered the ability of many smaller retailers to pursue innovative solutions, resulting in reduced access for customers to needed essential food products and services,” Chelsea Matzen, NGAF director, said in the announcement.
NGA said the grant will particularly benefit small rural grocers, creating opportunities for more to add SNAP online purchasing capabilities and boost their competitive edge.
“Small stores are the heartbeat of towns across America. They’re often individually owned and operated, create local employment opportunities, and provide essential resources for their community, but they also may not have the same resources that bigger stores have at their fingertips,” Stacy Dean, deputy undersecretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, said in a press release.
Previously, the NGAF has worked on a SNAP Online Resource Guide, which goes over best practices for retailers interested in the digital program. The announcement noted that the guide will be expanded and reworked with more resources for retailers.