SAN FRANCISCO — Instacart has expanded its acceptance of the Electronic Benefits Transfer for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (EBT SNAP) to all 50 states. The company said it is the first and only online grocery marketplace to achieve this feat, which it calls a significant move towards ensuring greater access to affordable and nutritious food for low-income families.
Instacart’s journey towards nationwide SNAP acceptance began in 2020 when it pioneered the retail onboarding process in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS), the company said, and the commitment was further solidified by the launch of its Instacart Health initiative and its alignment with the White House National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in 2022. The initiative aimed to bring SNAP online in all 50 states by the end of 2023.
The latest expansion includes more than 120 retail banners, spanning over 10,000 stores, enabling Instacart to reach nearly 95% of U.S. households enrolled in SNAP. This comprehensive coverage underscores Instacart’s dedication to its mission of providing widespread access to affordable and nutritious food, thereby reducing food insecurity and improving the overall well-being of communities.
“Our mission is to create a world where everyone has access to the food they love,” said Dani Dudeck, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Instacart. “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.”
Research conducted by the University of Kentucky, No Kid Hungry, and Instacart last year highlighted the positive impact of online grocery shopping on low-income families, including SNAP households. The study demonstrated that online shopping helps overcome mobility barriers, aids meal planning, saves time and money, and reduces the stigma associated with using benefits in physical stores. Additionally, the research found that online shoppers from lower-income households purchase more fruits and vegetables without increasing their overall grocery expenditure.
Instacart’s partnership with Albertsons Companies has been instrumental in realizing this ambitious goal, the company said. The collaboration has enabled Instacart to provide SNAP recipients with the flexibility of shopping for groceries online, offering delivery or pickup options in as little as 30 minutes or scheduled for later. Moreover, Instacart is introducing a discounted Instacart+ membership for SNAP participants, granting them access to same-day delivery and pickup from over 1,400 retail banners across the nation.
Stephen Menaquale, Senior Vice President of Ecommerce for Albertsons Companies, emphasized the significance of this collaboration. “Enabling SNAP online is a critical component of our ongoing efforts to create accessible, flexible, and convenient shopping experiences for all customers,” Menaquale said.
With this announcement, Instacart said it has not only elevated the accessibility of online grocery shopping but also strengthened its commitment to addressing food insecurity and promoting equitable access to nutritious food options for all.