Instacart has announced that Electronic Benefits Transfer for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (EBT SNAP) can now be used to buy groceries online via Instacart in every state, making Instacart the first and only online grocery marketplace to accept SNAP in all 50 states and Washington D.C. The company recently launched online SNAP acceptance in Alaska with Albertsons Companies banner Safeway, completing the commitment Instacart made in 2022 as part of the launch of its Instacart Health initiative and the White House National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health to bring SNAP online in all 50 states this year.
Instacart now offers online SNAP acceptance from more than 120 retail banners across more than 10,000 stores, more than any other online grocery marketplace. According to the US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS), more than 42 million people – more than 12 percent of the US population – are enrolled in SNAP. With the expansion, Instacart now reaches nearly 95 percent of US households enrolled in SNAP.
“Our mission is to create a world where everyone has access to the food they love. 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,” said Dani Dudeck, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Instacart. “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. We’re proud to have reached this landmark alongside USDA, state agencies and our retail partners across the country, and we look forward to continuing this work to ensure every family can access the food they need to thrive.”
Instacart first brought SNAP online in 2020, working closely with USDA FNS to pioneer the retail onboarding process and expand access to online SNAP payments across the country.
“USDA is committed to ensuring every family has access to affordable, nutritious food, and we recognize the important role of private sector leaders in expanding equitable access to SNAP online shopping,” said Stacy Dean, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. “Such partnerships strengthen our collective commitment to advancing President Biden’s 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 fruits and vegetables than in-store shoppers, without increasing their total grocery bill.
“We’ve seen firsthand that grocery delivery can play a powerful role in expanding access to nutrition – a cornerstone of our mission and Instacart Health initiative. With the launch of online SNAP acceptance in Alaska, we’re helping more people nourish themselves and their families,” said Sarah Mastrorocco, Vice President and General Manager of Instacart Health. “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.”
With the launch of seven Safeway locations in Alaska, Instacart now partners with Albertsons Companies to offer online SNAP acceptance at 13 banners in 33 states and Washington D.C.
“At Albertsons Companies, we’re committed to solving for food insecurity, and we want to ensure that all our local communities can shop from our banners, regardless of access to a physical store. Through our partnership with Instacart, we offer SNAP recipients same-day delivery and help overcome mobility challenges, including physical disability and lack of transportation, to better serve our customers,” said Stephen Menaquale, SVP Ecommerce for Albertsons Companies. “Enabling SNAP online is a critical component of our ongoing efforts to create accessible, flexible and convenient shopping experiences for all customers.”
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. Instacart offers a discounted Instacart+ membership for SNAP participants, designed to give more families access to same-day delivery and pickup from Instacart’s more than 1,400 retail banners across the country.
Through the program, anyone who has used an EBT SNAP card to purchase groceries on Instacart can get Instacart+ for 50 percent off (terms apply). With Instacart+, households can access free delivery and pickup on orders exceeding $35, 5 percent credit back on pickup orders and reduced service fees on every order.