Albertsons Companies has announced a new initiative that will expand access to food and medicine for lower-income individuals.
The retailer will now accept supplemental health benefits, including pre-paid cards funded by Medicare Advantage plans, employer incentives, healthcare providers or local governments, for fresh produce and over-the-counter medication purchases, including from the chain’s own brand.
First covered by Store Brands’ sister publication Progressive Grocer, the benefit program will be made possible through technology partnerships, including one with payments platform Solutran. The company’s S3 platform allows eligible cardholders to use their pre-paid benefits in-store, and also makes it possible for the grocer to accept Fresh Bucks, a local government supplemental program in Seattle.
“We are committed to offering solutions that deliver access to healthy produce and meals, reduce food insecurity and provide solutions for chronic condition management,” said Omer Gajial, EVP of pharmacy and health at Albertsons. “Using supplemental benefits enables shoppers to conveniently shop for fresh food and over-the-counter medications contributing to their overall health and well-being.”
Other grocers and municipalities are actively broadening their supplemental benefits programs, including Price Rite Marketplace stores and Cardenas and Cardenas Ranch Markets locations, which are now accepting Electronic Benefits Transfer Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (EBT SNAP) payments for groceries via Instacart.
Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Companies operates more than 2,200 retail stores with 1,700-plus pharmacies, 400 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. It operates stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia under more than 20 well-known banners, among them Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco and more.