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Walmart Inc. has expanded a pilot program that lets customers use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to pay online for grocery pickup and delivery orders.

Nearly 3,000 stores in 39 states now offer the payment option, but Arkansas is not among them.

Customers in areas where they can't pay with the benefit at online checkout can still do so at pickup, Walmart said in a blog post Tuesday. Tom Ward, Walmart's senior vice president of customer product, also said benefit users won't need to meet the usual $35 minimum purchase threshold for their order.

The Bentonville-based retailer was one of the first to take part in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Online Purchase pilot program, Ward said. The USDA oversees the food-aid program.

About 38 million Americans received the benefits in 2019, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a research institute that analyzes federal and state budget priorities and how they affect low-income Americans. More than two-thirds of recipients are families with children, and one-third have family members who are elderly or disabled.

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