February 12, 2018 Riana

Amazon, Communities, Fresh Food and the Future of Retail

I was recently interviewed by Leanna Garfied of Business Insider. We discussed a range of opportunities for communities and businesses to build better solutions for SNAP recipients. We must continue collaborative efforts to bring fresh and affordable foods to all communities in the future of retail. Thank you for the feature.

“Amazon pitches its new Go store in Seattle as the supermarket of the future.

The store does not feature cashiers or checkout lines. Instead, a sensor-and-camera system detects when shoppers pick items off the shelves, and Amazon charges them automatically via an app when they leave.

In January, Slate’s April Glaser noted another glaring difference between Amazon Go and most traditional supermarkets. The former does not accept food stamps (also known as EBT cards) that are part of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that the company does not plan to accept EBT cards at the store, at least for the foreseeable future.

But that could be a bad business move for Amazon, according to Riana Lynn, a biologist and technologist who researches how cities can make fresh food more accessible.

“They could be raking in millions more dollars,” she told Business Insider. “It’s a no-brainer that accepting SNAP could be a lot of money for [Amazon], especially since it’s getting into fresher groceries.”

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