Coronavirus prompts Walmart to open at-risk pickup, SNAP benefits accepted

Walmart expands pickup service for at-risk customers amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Select Walmart stores throughout the country are launching a pickup hour for at-risk customers who are susceptible to illnesses such as the coronavirus, according to a new company statement.

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Between 7 and 8 a.m., customers age 60 and above and customers with disabilities will be able to reserve a pickup time slot along with first responders and anyone else “designated high-risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Pickup associates working during this critical hour will follow enhanced social distancing and sanitation procedures to safely transfer groceries and goods. The exchange is also meant to be contact-free with store associates delivering purchased products directly into the trunk of each customer’s vehicle. Signatures are not required at the pickup point.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
WMTWALMART INC.135.99-2.32-1.68%

This Tuesday, May 30, 2017, photo shows a 24-hour grocery pickup location at a Walmart in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

“Now more than ever, families are relying on our pickup service to help get quality, fresh groceries to their homes as safely as possible,” said Tom Ward, a senior vice president of customer product at Walmart. “These are extraordinary times, and we are constantly looking for ways we can help deliver that same peace of mind to all our customers, particularly those who are most at-risk.”

To reserve a pickup slot, customers will need to go on Walmart.com/grocery and select the prompt that displays “At Risk Only” pickup qualifications. Eligible customers living in the area of a participating Walmart store can opt in and fill their online shopping basket and pick up their purchase at the designated time.

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Walmart provides a location map that lists which stores allow curbside pickup that at-risk customers can use to determine which stores they are willing to go to. There are 3,300 stores that offer pickup service, according to Walmart.

At-risk customers can also get their shopping done and arrange for store pickup through the Walmart app.

(Walmart)

Beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program who are not at-risk can arrange a grocery pickup outside the hours reserved for at-risk customers. During their online checkout, eligible SNAP customers can select the “EBT card” option as a payment method and complete the transaction instead of having to present their EBT benefit card to a store associate.

EBT payments will be accepted for delivery as well.

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Walmart is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer SNAP online purchases for pickup in “a growing list of states,” which includes Alabama, Arizona, California, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Oregon and Washington as of Monday, according to a recent press release.

Customers who are not at-risk or beneficiaries of SNAP can arrange pickup at any time after 8 a.m.

The company says over 265 million customers and members visit Walmart’s 11,500 stores. High-demand products like paper goods, milk and cleaning supplies have set purchase limits for pickup at select stores.

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As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 584,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker.