Online grocery delivery company Instacart is launching an Electronic Benefit Transfer and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (EBT SNAP) integration in partnership with Aldi, the Germany-based grocer known for its low prices and no-frills stores. For the first time, EBT SNAP participants will be able to access fresh food and pantry staples from Aldi via Instacart’s same-day delivery and pickup services.
The multi-phased launch will begin in Georgia in the coming weeks across more than 60 Aldi stores, with anticipated plans to expand to more than 570 stores across Illinois, California, Florida and Pennsylvania in the coming months.
The introduction of the Instacart, Aldi EBT SNAP payments comes at a time when food insecurity in the U.S. has compounded, as the nation continues to be impacted by COVID-19. Due to the effects of the pandemic, more than 54 million people may experience food insecurity in 2020, which includes a potential 18 million children, says Feeding America. In Georgia, where Aldi operates more than 50 stores, food insecurity impacts 12.5% of the population and disproportionately affects communities of color.
“Enabling customers to use their SNAP/EBT benefits for their grocery delivery and curbside pickup orders is an important extension of our in-store payment policy,” said Brent Laubaugh, co-president of Aldi U.S., in a release. “While the option is only available in select markets at the moment, we’re eager to roll out this update broadly as quickly as possible.”
“At Instacart, our mission is to create a world where everyone has access to the food they love and more time to enjoy it together. As the nation continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19, we recognize Instacart has an opportunity to increase access to fresh, nutritious food and pantry staples by unlocking EBT SNAP payments for online grocery delivery and pickup services in communities across the country,” said Nilam Ganenthiran, president of Instacart, in a statement. “It’s incredibly important to us to support the communities in which our own employees live and work, so we’re excited to start this program in Georgia, which is home to our Atlanta-based customer and shopper care team.
“We’re proud to partner with Aldi on this important initiative and are committed to being a long-term solution for EBT SNAP households and connecting everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, to the groceries and essential goods they need.”
Bringing EBT SNAP capabilities to Instacart is another step in the San Francisco-based company’s ongoing commitment to supporting communities that are facing growing food insecurity, while increasing access to quality food. Earlier this summer, Instacart launched the #GiveFromTheCart Challenge, a giving campaign to benefit Feeding America and fight rising hunger in the wake of COVID-19. As part of the campaign, the company donated 1 million meals to Feeding America.
“At Feeding America, we believe that strong federal programs are critical for families struggling to get access to nutritious food,” said Robert Campbell, managing director of policy at Feeding America. “Improving access to food for people with lower incomes is something we’ve long supported and are glad Instacart is helping connect communities to food in innovative ways.”
As part of the Aldi commitment to Feeding America, it will donate approximately 30 million pounds of food to local Feeding America Food Banks across the country this year. In addition, Aldi has made a $500,000 donation to Feeding America to support food insecurity.
As part of this new program, EBT SNAP participants in Georgia will be able to shop from Aldi via the Instacart online site and mobile app. Once an Instacart customer profile is created, customers can enter their EBT food card information as a form of payment in their profile. Customers will need a secondary form of payment for non-food items such as taxes, tips and fees per SNAP guidelines. Customers can then enter their zip code to determine if they are near a participating Aldi store, and begin shopping and selecting items from Aldi’s EBT SNAP-eligible products. Once items are added to their cart, customers will be able to select how much of their benefits they would like to allocate to the order.
Delivery and pickup of Aldi groceries via Instacart will be available daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Once an order is placed, an Instacart personal shopper will pick and pack the order within the customer’s designated time frame.
Aldi began offering delivery service via Instacart in 2018, and today the online service currently delivers nationwide from more than 2,000 Aldi stores.