Amazon attracts food stamp users for online grocery orders during pandemic: report

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Amazon is becoming more popular among people who use food stamps for online grocery orders, according to a recent report.

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In fact, online grocery orders for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) users have spiked 50-fold this year because of the pandemic, according to a report from Bloomberg.

In September, 1.1 million people used their SNAP benefits to buy food online — with most of those people shopping from Amazon and Walmart.

However, that’s still only a small portion of people on food stamps. Bloomberg reported, in total, more than 22 million households receive SNAP benefits.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched a pilot program last year that allowed people to use SNAP benefits online. In the midst of the pandemic in April, the department expanded the program.

The USDA expanded its online grocery order program in April in the midst of the pandemic. (iStock)

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Amazon accepts SNAP benefits in all states except Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine and Montana, according to the website.

Meanwhile, Walmart accepts SNAP benefits at some capacity to all states except Hawaii, the website says. People can use their SNAP cards online in 44 states and at pickup in the remaining five states.

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Last year, $55 billion was spent by food stamp users, according to Bloomberg. By accepting SNAP benefits, Amazon is trying to get in on that market and compete with Walmart and other discount stores where many SNAP recipients shop, Bloomberg reported.

Online grocery orders for SNAP benefit users have spiked 50-fold this year because of the pandemic, according to Bloomberg. (iStock)

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Amazon’s customer base is more focused on higher-income households — though the company “is nearing saturation” among that group, according to Bloomberg.

Several SNAP users told the website that online grocery orders have been a huge help during the pandemic — especially for people with underlying health conditions.

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