The USDA is proposing a new solution for aging Americans across the country. Although many senior citizens are already members of the SNAP program — formerly known as the Food Stamp Program — a significant number of seniors have limited mobility and cannot easily leave the house to shop for groceries.The new USDA proposal would allow senior citizens to use their SNAP allowance for grocery delivery services like Peapod. The USDA is currently looking for 20 grocery delivery services that would be willing to participate in a one-year pilot program.
The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, told Time that he believes the new proposal would help seniors become more independent, and talked about his aunt, who cannot shop on her own because of a bad hip.
“Having services delivered to her enabled her to stay in that home with greater dignity for a longer period of time,” Vilsack told Time. “I’m sure that there are a lot of Aunt Jessies out there that will benefit from this program for a multitude of reasons.”
Although Meals on Wheels already has a similar program, with a sliding payment scale based on income, 9.3 million senior citizens are food insecure. SNAP partnering with grocery delivery services could help to lower that number.