Congress is working on their fourth pandemic aid package and they have an incredible opportunity to advance food justice by making online grocery ordering and delivery available for all people regardless of income and proximity to a grocery store.

CALL YOUR SENATORS TODAY AND ASK THEM TO SUPPORT Expanding SNAP Options Act of 2020 (S. 4202) and Food Assistance for Kids and Families During COVID-19 Act of 2020 (S. 3563)

Call Senator Blunt at (202) 224-5721
Call Senator Hawley at (202) 224-6154

Not in Missouri? Click here to find your Senators’ phone numbers.



The 2014 Farm Bill included an Online Purchase Pilot (OPP) that allowed SNAP beneficiaries in eight states the capability of purchasing groceries online.6 In 2019, USDA launched the pilot program highlighting that recipients of SNAP benefits should have the same grocery purchasing capabilities that non-SNAP recipients have – online ordering.7  Since COVID-19, the USDA expanded the program and now forty states are currently participating in the OPP; however, Amazon and Walmart are the only retailers accepting SNAP online, with a handful of exceptions.The OPP has enabled tens of thousands of Americans increased food access by alleviating the many challenges of shopping in a brick and mortar store, including geographic access, access to transportation, and physical capability. These barriers have become more burdensome since the start of COVID-19, exacerbating these issues and impacting far more people.

The Expanding SNAP Options Act of 2020 (S. 4202) will ensure that technical infrastructure and resources are made available to expand the ability of farmers, small businesses, cooperative grocery stores, and local grocery stores to accept SNAP in an online platform. The Food Assistance for Kids and Families During COVID-19 Act of 2020 (S. 3563) will enable beneficiaries to use their SNAP benefits to cover the cost of curbside pickup and delivery fees, which were not previously covered by SNAP.  These bills encourage CDC social distancing guidelines to limit the spread COVID-19. Below is an outline of the most notable goals of each bill:

Expanding SNAP Options Act (S. 4202)

    • Greatest benefits of this bill help small businesses and local farmers reach more customers during this time:
        • This act provides $75 million for technical assistance to smaller retailers, direct-to-consumer farmers, farmers’ markets, and local retailers.10
        • This act allocates $25 million to develop an online portal for Electronic Benefits Transfer redemption that will include SNAP and WIC EBT.10
    • Additional important components of the bill to ensure the program reaches those in need easily and across the country:
        • This act enables all 50 states to participate in an online ordering system. 
        • The online portal will be available in an app as well as an online browser that is cost efficient, protects data, and can be easily updated. 
        • Expanding SNAP benefits supports local economies and local food systems by allowing small farmers and retailers to participate in the online redemption program.

Food Assistance for kids and Families During COVID-19 Act (S. 3563)

    • $500 million will be allocated for retailers including small businesses, direct market farmers, and local retailers to cover the costs of grocery delivery in all fifty states.9    
    • Grocery delivery supports participants who are seniors, im­mu­no­com­pro­mised individuals, or other individuals who are unable to travel safely to a grocery store.9



    • Expanding SNAP through online ordering and delivery programs addresses food insecurity on the national and state level. 
        • More than 48 million Americans (14% of the population) experienced food insecurity in 2015.1
        • According to the USDA 2015 Food Access Research Atlas, 17.65% of Missourians are low income and live in low food access areas (living more than 1 mile (urban) or 10 miles (rural) from a supermarket or large grocery retailer).
        • Over 20% of children in Missouri are food insecure.1
        • There are more than 170,000 food insecure seniors in Missouri. 2
    • 1 in 9 Americans participate in the SNAP program. 4
        • 38,000,000 Americans (12% of the population) receive SNAP benefits.4
        • 692,000 Missourians (11% of the population) receive SNAP benefits.4
        • SNAP enabled 120,000 Missourians to live above the poverty line, including 56,000 children.4
        • SNAP applications have increased by 87.3% since February in Missouri due to COVID-19; the expansion of this program would allow online ordering and delivery to reach more Missourians in need and help local businesses increase their sales.5
    • About 7 million participants receive benefits from WIC.11
        • In FY 2018, 6.87 women and children received WIC benefits of which 3.52 million were children, 1.71 million were infants, and 1.63 million were women.11
    • Online ordering, delivery, and curbside pickup programs help ensure social distancing through the COVID-19 national emergency.
        • The CDC recommends practicing social distancing including remaining at least 6 feet apart from others, not gathering in groups, and avoiding crowded areas.3
        • The expansion of this program would enable vulnerable populations such as the elderly, low income/low access residents, immunocompromised individuals, and those without vehicle access abide by social distancing guidelines throughout this national emergency.9

ECONOMIC BENEFIT: Smaller and local retailers will benefit from this SNAP expansion bill. 

    • Many local farmers and retailers have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 showing loss in sales. S. 4202 gives local businesses the ability to sell more of their products directly to customers if they are able to participate in SNAP online ordering.
    • An online portal for SNAP expands the markets in which local farmers can participate, diversifying their revenue and thus strengthening their financial security.
    • For every $1 in SNAP benefits, $1.7 is generated in economic benefit.4
    • Enabling small retailers and local farmers to participate in SNAP supports a more sustainable food system.



Expanding SNAP redemption through online ordering grants individuals and families greater access to food and necessary items. Online ordering, delivery, and curbside pickup allows those with preexisting medical conditions, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations to have food access while remaining socially distant.  Expanding the means of SNAP benefit redemption allows households to overcome the unique barriers that the pandemic has presented in accessing benefits. Creating an online ordering system through an online portal creates jobs. Expanding SNAP participation for smaller retailers and local farmers promotes sustainable agricultural practices, advancements in technology, and supports local businesses. 


CALL YOUR SENATORS TODAY AND ASK THEM TO SUPPORT Expanding SNAP Options Act of 2020 (S. 4202) and Food Assistance for Kids and Families During COVID-19 Act of 2020 (S. 3563)

Call Senator Blunt at (202) 224-5721
Call Senator Hawley at (202) 224-6154

Not in Missouri? Click here to find your Senators’ phone numbers.

[1] USDA Food Access Research Atlas
[2] Senior Food Insecurity Report
[3] CDC Social Distancing
[4] A Closer Look at Who Benefits from SNAP: State-by-State Facts
[5] Missouri Department of Social Services April 2020 Monthly Management Report
[6] Availability of Grocery Delivery to Food Deserts in States Participating in the Online Purchase Pilot
[7] Press Release: The USDA Launches SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot
[8] FNS SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot
[9] S.3563
[10] S.4202
[11] WIC participation,and%201.63%20million%20were%20women.