Grocery stores and other retailers can offer online “click and collect” grocery shopping and curbside pickup for families in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) learned this week. Families also can place orders over the phone.
“This is a welcome development in these challenging times,” said ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall. “It will help keep families safe as we all work together to limit social distancing and stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
If grocery stores have wireless mobile point-of-sale (POS) devices, they can swipe recipients’ EBT cards at curbside. If they do not have mobile POS devices, recipients still can order food in advance and go into the store to pay and pick up their groceries. Retailers also have the option to process manual vouchers at curbside. Grocers cannot accept the EBT card number over the phone.
To ease administrative burdens and ensure that families have access to food throughout the pandemic, ODJFS also requested and received approval to extend by six months the recertification eligibility periods for March, April, and May. The agency also requested and received federal approval for all SNAP recipients to receive the maximum benefit possible for their families in March and April.
Individuals may qualify for SNAP if their household’s gross monthly income is at or under 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. To apply, visit benefits.ohio.gov. Benefits can be used to buy most food products, with the exception of alcoholic beverages, vitamins and/or medicines, and hot food made to be eaten immediately, including prepared food from grocery stores and restaurants.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services manages vital programs that strengthen Ohio families. These include job training and employment services, unemployment insurance, cash and food assistance, child care, child and adult protective services, adoption, and child support services.