Grocery shopping is very different for shoppers using food stamps in the Bronx.
There, a select number of zip codes have the option of ordering groceries online, which has served as a lifeline especially for senior citizens. State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) called out the United States Department of Agriculture this week, asking why the same did not apply to southern Queens.
“Buying groceries should not be a nightmare for seniors with limited mobility,” Goldfeder said. “No senior should have to rely on friends and family when technology allows for an easier option.”
The assemblyman fired off a letter to USDA head and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, calling on the agency to use its power administering food stamp benefits at the national level to provide online grocery delivery services to zip codes in southern Queens and Rockaway. The service has been part of a pilot program the USDA launched this year to allow for online purchases of groceries using Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, which shoppers use to make purchases with their SNAP benefits – or food stamps. Goldfeder’s letter said southern Queens and Rockaway were home to a large senior population, and allowing residents to use their EBT cards to order groceries online would be a great relief to seniors unable to make it to the supermarket.