5/20/20 - A Message to Providers from Secretary Hou: Online Food Purchasing for SNAP Recipients

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Dear Partners,

I am thrilled to announce that Illinois will soon be offering online purchasing for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) customers. This will make the lives of so many families a little easier during this difficult time.

Access will be provided automatically to all existing Link card holders beginning June 2nd. Customers will not need to call or visit an office.

Today, Governor JB Pritzker announced that the State's plan to enable more than 1.8 million SNAP recipients (across nearly a million households) to purchase food from participating grocery retailers online has been approved by the federal government. This new purchasing option will begin on June 2nd.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved IDHS' SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Online implementation plan, which gives SNAP customers the ability to enter their Personal Identification Number (PIN) to order groceries online. All SNAP recipients with Link cards in Illinois will be able to participate.

Walmart and Amazon have agreed to accept online orders in Illinois once the program begins and IDHS is encouraging other grocery retailers to participate as well. More grocery retailers are welcome to join EBT Online. Any retailers interested in the program can find more information and apply on the USDA website.

IDHS will continue to update our SNAP customers, our stakeholders, and the general public about online purchasing as we near the June 2nd start date.

I want to thank all the IDHS and USDA staff, lawmakers, and advocacy groups who have helped to bring this important option closer to a reality for Illinois SNAP customers.


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS