SNAP Benefits Now Grant You Discounted Instacart+ Membership in Move To Fight Food Insecurity

Toronto, Canada- November 14, 2020: Instacart company closeup sign is seen in Toronto, Canada.
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The rise in online ordering options for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients has led to a similar rise in SNAP customers using the Instacart grocery delivery and pickup platform.

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Now Instacart aims to connect even more low-income households to its service with the announcement of a new, discounted Instacart+ membership for SNAP participants nationwide. The program is part of the company’s Instacart Health initiative, which is designed to promote healthier food and living.

SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that provides financial assistance to help low-income Americans buy food. The benefits are processed through the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card system. 

In a Tuesday blog, Instacart said that beginning on Dec. 20, 2022, anyone who has used an EBT card to purchase groceries on Instacart in the past six months can get an Instacart+ membership at $4.99 a month for 12 months — a 50% savings off the regular price. Instacart+ lets households access free delivery and pickup on orders over $35. It also offers 5% credit back on pickup orders and reduced service fees on every order. 

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“We want to help put healthy food on the table,” Instacart said in the blog. “SNAP households have reported that online grocery shopping offers greater convenience, time savings and less stress, and now 95% of the more than 30 million Americans experiencing nutrition insecurity have access to delivery from retailers that accept EBT SNAP payment online via Instacart.”

As previously reported by GOBankingRates, SNAP Instacart customers can go to “Account Settings” and add their EBT card as a payment method. A credit or debit card must also be linked to cover fees, taxes, delivery tips and any other items not eligible under SNAP. Among the national and regional grocery chains that accept Instacart EBT payments are Aldi, Food Lion, Piggly Wiggly, Publix and Stop & Shop.

Research published this fall by Instacart, the University of Kentucky and No Kid Hungry found that online grocery shopping helps SNAP customers and other low-income families stretch their food budgets, assist with meal planning, and save time and money. The study also found that SNAP recipients who shop for groceries online tend to purchase more fruits and vegetables than in-store shoppers – without increasing their overall grocery bills.

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“Our research has shown that online grocery shopping can provide very real benefits for families on tight food budgets, including SNAP recipients,” Courtney Smith, SVP Program Research, Innovation and Impact at No Kid Hungry, said in a statement. “Instacart’s discounted membership for SNAP recipients is one solution that can help more food-insecure families tap into the many benefits of online grocery – including saving time, managing their budgets, and reducing transportation barriers.”

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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