Starting today, North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) participants will be able to purchase groceries online using their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards at authorized online EBT retailers. North Carolina is the 10th state to implement this flexibility, which will remain permanently in place beyond the COVID-19 emergency.
The new flexibility will allow participants to buy food while also promoting social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and helping families with transportation and mobility barriers.
"People need to feed their families while also practicing social distancing," said NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. "This will allow families to order groceries at home and lower their risk of getting sick."
Currently, Amazon and Walmart are the only authorized retailers approved for online FNS purchases nationally. The U.S. Department of Agriculture must approve other retailers who wish to participate in the FNS online purchasing program. NCDHHS encourages other EBT retailers to pursue USDA approval to become authorized online retailers.
All EBT retailers in North Carolina have received information from USDA about how to become approved for online FNS purchases and other retailers are encouraged to seek approval for online purchasing. More information for retailers is available on the USDA website.
More information about North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services can be found at https://www.ncdhhs.gov/assistance/low-income-services/food-nutrition-services-food-stamps.
North Carolina individuals and families can apply for FNS at https://epass.nc.gov/CitizenPortal/application.do