One of New Jersey's largest supermarket chains will be part of a pilot program allowing food stamp users to buy groceries online.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said ShopRite locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland will allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program users to also make payment.

Amazon customers in New Jersey will also be part of the program. Customers will only be able to pay for food, not any shipping or delivery fees.

"Online purchasing is a potential lifeline for SNAP participants living in urban neighborhoods and rural communities where access to healthy food choices can be limited. We're looking forward to being able to bring the benefits of the online market to low-income Americans participating in SNAP," USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

No exact date was offered and retailers such as ShopRite, which has locations in multiple states, may offer the program one state at a time.

Additional retailers may also be added to the pilot with an eventual goal of rolling out the program nationwide.

SNAP aides over 43 million low-income people nationwide supplement their food budgets.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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