Instacart Expands EBT SNAP to 3 Additional Retailers

published May 5, 2021
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Credit: Instacart

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) users now have even more options when online shopping for groceries. As of April 29, Instacart began accepting federal benefit payments for online orders through EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) at Publix, The Save Mart Companies, and Price Chopper/Market 32. The new expansion increases the number of grocery stores offering SNAP online through Instacart by more than 1,500 stores across 15 states, totaling more than 4,000 stores in 38 states and Washington, D.C.

To relieve the strain of delivery fees and improve food insecurity, Instacart will waive delivery or pickup fees through June 16 on three EBT SNAP orders for each customer with a valid EBT card attached to their Instacart account. 

Earlier this year, Food Lion started accepting online EBT payments through Instacart in North Carolina, and Aldi started accepting it late last year. Hy-Vee currently lets customers pay with their EBT card at pickup and Albertsons started to accept SNAP benefits for online shopping in Washington last year. Prior to that, Kroger began accepting SNAP payments for pickup orders early last year after Walmart made the service available in 2019. 

According to Grocery Dive, hundreds of grocers this year are looking to allow online shoppers to pay with EBT cards after the U.S. The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) opened applications to its SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot last spring. 

Instacart gives more grocers the ability to accept EBT cards as an online payment — a space that was dominated by Walmart and Amazon after the USDA’s pilot launched two years ago. Integrating SNAP into online shopping isn’t an easy task, according to experts. But Instacart developed the platform and streamlined the online shopping experience with federal regulations for its 600-plus grocery partners, so individual grocers didn’t have to.