WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with nine of their Senate colleagues, today introduced a bill to address hunger needs during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond by requiring the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expand online Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) purchasing choices. The Expanding SNAP Options Act would provide funding for the creation of a universal online and app-based portal to make access to nutritious foods from the full variety of SNAP retailers possible and easy to navigate for consumers. Online SNAP purchasing is currently limited to a very small number of approved retailers due to technological and financial barriers, and in many states, the only options are Walmart and Amazon—leaving out smaller and independent grocers, local growers, and farmers markets, and other specialty neighborhood retailers. The bill also provides funding for a USDA Technical Assistance Center to help smaller retailers in carrying out an online platform.

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