Iowa DHS allows Food Assistance EBT cards to make online grocery purchases

Local News

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) – The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) is taking several steps to address food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic including allowing Food Assistance EBT cards to make online food purchases.

Food Assistance will continue for all current recipients and benefits will increase for both current and new recipients.

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, households not already receiving the maximum allotment for April and May, will have additional benefits added to their EBT card with their normal monthly benefits, the DHS said.

The maximum allotment per household size according to the DHS is listed below.

Household SizeMaximum Allotment

The DHS is also collaborating with the Department of Education to address the needs of Iowa families who rely on school lunch programs.

Amazon and Walmart now offer online options for Iowans using their Food Assistance EBT card to purchase food. The service is available statewide, the DHS said.

DHS is exploring additional opportunities to expand this program to include other retailers. Visit the retailers’ websites to order groceries or get more information.

The DHS also requested an addendum to the state plan for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which increases access to food distribution to address food insecurity related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iowans who are in need of emergency assistance due to an income change are now eligible for TEFAP and should contact their local food bank to find TEFAP providers in their area.

Home-delivered meals will be provided for Iowa Medicaid members who are home-bound and for home- and community-based service (HCBS) waiver members if their waiver does not have meals as an allowable service.

The DHS also expanded homemaker services which allow someone to come into the home to prepare meals for HCBS waiver members.

For more information on the DHS Food Assistance COVID-19 response, including Food Assistance auto-recertification and the suspension of Food Assistance work requirements click here.

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