SNAP payments can now be used to buy groceries online via Instacart in every U.S. state and Washington D.C, the grocer has announced.

Instacart recently launched Electronic Benefits Transfer for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programme (EBT SNAP) in Alaska completing a commitment it had made as part of the launch of its Instacart Health initiative and the White House National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

Research published last year by the University of Kentucky, No Kid Hungry and Instacart showed that online grocery shopping helps low-income families, including SNAP households, overcome mobility barriers, stretch food budgets, assist with meal planning, save time and money, and decrease potential stigma associated with using benefits in-store.

The study also found that SNAP recipients and families in lower income households who grocery shop online, purchase more fruit and vegetables than in-store shoppers, without increasing their total grocery bill.

Instacart had initially brought SNAP online in 2020, working closely with USDA FNS to implement the retail onboarding process and expand access to online SNAP payments.

How are SNAP participants benefitting?

Where available, SNAP participants can shop for groceries on Instacart from local retailers for delivery or pickup in as fast as 30-minutes or scheduled several days in advance. The grocer also offers a discounted Instacart+ membership for SNAP participants, designed to give more families access to same-day delivery and pickup.

Through the programme, anyone who has used an EBT SNAP card to purchase groceries on Instacart can get Instacart+ for 50% off. Benefits of this include access free delivery and pickup on orders over $35, 5% credit back on pickup orders, and reduced service fees on every order.

Dani Dudeck, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Instacart said: “By expanding online SNAP acceptance to all 50 states, we’re delivering on our mission by modernizing access and connecting more communities to affordable and nutritious foods. Now SNAP families in every state can enjoy the benefits of online grocery from a variety of local retailers that meet their unique tastes, needs and personal budgets.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS), over 12% of the U.S. population are enrolled in SNAP. With the expansion, Instacart now reaches nearly 95% of U.S. households enrolled in SNAP.

Sarah Mastrorocco, Vice President and General Manager of Instacart Health added: “With the launch of online SNAP acceptance in Alaska, we’re helping more people nourish themselves and their families.Online SNAP acceptance on our marketplace offers families flexibility, convenience and dignity of choice, and we’re proud to partner with Albertsons Companies to bring these benefits to Alaskans.”


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash