Americans receiving taxpayer-funded food stamp benefits are about to have their lives made even more convenient: The Obama administration is set to allow them to shop online, which means that the government assumes welfare and food stamp recipients also have the Internet.
As reported by Business Insider, recent modifications to the food stamp program, SNAP, are ostensibly meant to alleviate the problem of “food deserts” – that is, provide a service to recipients who live in places with fewer healthy grocery stores.
In recent days, the Department of Agriculture began the process of soliciting companies to participate in a two-year pilot project that would allow SNAP recipients to buy groceries online. If it is deemed to be a success, the program will be expanded, unless the next president curbs it or eliminates it altogether.
Gunnar Lovelace, one of the co-founders of Thrive Market, an online healthy grocery vendor, told CNN Money that his firm has “an opportunity to be putting pressure on making sure that food stamps are a 21st century program.”
Of course, being guaranteed a share of government money is likely motivation enough for Thrive Market founders, though it’s not yet clear if the company will actually be one of the retailers included in the pilot program, which is set to launch next summer.