NEW YORK — Amazon and Walmart are kicking off a two-year pilot launch on Thursday established by the government to allow low-income shoppers on government food assistance to select and pay for their groceries online in New York.

ShopRite will be joining the retailers early next week, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

The USDA has long required that customers using electronic benefits transfer, or EBT, pay for their purchases at the actual time and place of sale. So the move marks the first time SNAP customers can pay for their groceries online. It says the pilot will eventually expand to other retailers and to several other states.

It will test both online ordering and payment.