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Melanie Wong | Apr 27, 202012:34 AM    

CalFresh benefits can be used to purchase groceries online for delivery starting Tuesday April 28. Because this was in response to the Covid-19 emergency and the need for vulnerable populations to physically isolate, the state moved forward with rapid implementation using only the two national retailers currently authorized by the federal pilot program, Walmart and Amazon. The state is working with Safeway to bring it into the program, and has expressed an interest in expanding to local vendors that have online capabilities.

Amazon's SNAP EBT portal: https://www.amazon.com/b?node=1909778...

There are many questions and concerns about how this will be rolled out in California. Given the delays and shortages that other purchasers are experiencing with both Walmart and Amazon, CalFresh recipients are likely to experience the same. Also, the process for rectifying errors in fulfillment, managing credit for returns or thefts of merchandise that have been increasing for other customers have not yet been defined for CalFresh customers. And it should be noted that CalFresh benefits are for food purchases only and cannot be used to pay delivery fees.

The Coronavirus crisis has exposed the gaps in the food supply between the haves and have-nots. Enabling online food purchases for CalFresh households is an important step in bridging that gap, but there's still much work ahead to improve safer access to food for all Californians.

EBT Online

www.cdss.ca.gov
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