The Minnesota Department of Human Services (MDHS) announced today (May 28) that low income families who use the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Minnesota have more options to safely buy food.
Effective immediately, SNAP recipients – there are 400,000 people in Minnesota that receive SNAP funding – can use their Electronic Benefit Card to purchase groceries online.
Currently, Walmart and Amazon are the only online retailers approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for SNAP purchases and available in Minnesota. MDHS is encouraging other retailers to seek approval from the USDA so low income families have more options.
“Safe access to healthy food is important to all of us,” said MDHS Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “By enabling SNAP recipients to purchase food online, we are increasing access to food and enabling safe purchasing. This is vital to maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic while helping Minnesotans put healthy food on their tables.”
The average monthly SNAP benefit per person is $109 and, to be eligible, a family needs an annual income below 165 percent of the federal poverty level, which, in fiscal year 2019, was about $34,000 a year for a family of three. Of those who received SNAP benefits in 2019, 45 percent were children, 44 percent lived in Greater Minnesota, 13 percent had disabilities and 13 percent were older adults.
For more information on SNAP, you can access the SNAP fact sheet here: https://edocs.dhs.state.mn.us/lfserver/Public/DHS-5738-ENG
To apply for SNAP benefits, there is a PDF link that identifies your local county or tribal human services office https://edocs.dhs.state.mn.us/lfserver/Public/DHS-0005-ENG or you can go to the ApplyMN website (www.applymn.dhs.mn.gov).