By LILY WILSON
On January 5th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the selection of New York State to participate in a nationwide pilot program to allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants to purchase their groceries online. Borough President Diaz and Congressman Maloney led the campaign in New York State to bring about this innovative change that allowed consumers greater access to affordable groceries, promoted healthier diet choices, and created billions of dollars in new business opportunities.
“New York State has always led the way when it comes to innovation in government, and this pilot program will put our state at the intersection of health, technology and business. Allowing consumers to use their SNAP benefits in the same way you would also use a credit or debit card to purchase groceries will lead to lower prices and greater options for consumers in every corner of this city and state,” said Diaz “I want to thank Congressman Maloney and our New York delegation, our partners in business and the health and hunger advocates who understood the need for this pilot program and joined our efforts to bring this important new program to New York.”
Diaz initially proposed such changes in his “State of the Borough” address in February 2016. Later that year in July, Diaz participated in a conference on Capitol Hill to address the need for technological advancements for SNAP benefit users with Ohio Rep, which eventually led to sending a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, urging his department to select New York State for this pilot program.
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