Northern Arizonans Can Now Access Locally-Grown Foods Online

Published by The Bee News

April 3, 2024

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Rosebird Farms and Activate Food Arizona Launch First Online SNAP Payment Option for Low Income Online Shoppers Throughout Northern AZ

Northern Arizonans experiencing low income can now, for the first time, pay for locally grown produce online with their federally-funded SNAP benefits cards.

Rosebird Farms is the first Arizona farm and food hub to be USDA-authorized to accept shoppers’ SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefit payments online.
Previously, only large retailers without connections to local growers such as Walmart and Amazon were authorized by the USDA to accept SNAP payments online.

Approximately 11% of Arizonans qualify for USDA SNAP benefits. SNAP is a federal food assistance program that provides payments through a debit card for food purchases from
authorized retailers.

During the COVID pandemic, many local food retailers throughout the state expanded their online offerings. But only the largest national retailers could offer SNAP payment options online, creating an inequity for low-income shoppers.

The federal process for a local retailer to offer SNAP online is complex and designed for large supermarket applicants, creating significant barriers for smaller, local operations like Rosebird Farms. To address this, Activate Food Arizona launched an initiative in 2020 to provide a more streamlined pathway to USDA approval.

“Now that Rosebird Farms has been through the in-depth approval process, other retailers can have an easier path to accepting SNAP payments online,” says Elyse Guidas, Executive Director of Activate Food Arizona. “Most importantly, SNAP customers will have more online shopping options and better access to affordable, healthy foods delivered to their home or community.”

As part of a Vitalyst Health Foundation multi-year Systems Change Grant, Rosebird Farms is the first of four Arizona retailers to pilot this service to Arizona individuals and families using SNAP benefits.

Rosebird Farms is a Certified Naturally Grown Farm in Kingman, Arizona, that coordinates with over 12 Arizona farmers to provide a variety of fresh produce and value-added products to customers in Kingman, Golden Valley, Valle Vista, Lake Havasu, and Flagstaff. For more information, please visit www.rosebirdfarms.com

Activate Food Arizona is a 501c3 nonprofit that develops and deploys innovative solutions to food access challenges throughout the state. To learn more about this initiative and other Activate Food Arizona programs, please visit www.activatefoodaz.org.

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