Discount grocer Aldi and on-demand delivery platform Instacart are accepting federal benefit payments for online orders at nearly 1,000 more stores.
Aldi and Instacart launched a program in October to accept federal Electronic Benefit Transfer and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (EBT SNAP) as payment for online orders filled via Instacart’s same-day delivery and pickup services across select stores in Georgia in November 2020. Now, the companies are taking EBT SNAP payments at stores in 23 states and Washington, D.C.
EBT SNAP benefits are growing in acceptance as a form of payment for online purchases by an increasing number of grocers. Midwestern grocery chain Hy-Vee launched a pilot in August, and retailers including Amazon, Walmart, and Kroger also accept SNAP payments for online groceries in some locations.
As part of the Aldi/Instacart program, EBT SNAP participants in eligible areas will be able to shop from Aldi via the Instacart online site and mobile app by entering 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.
After filling their online shopping carts, customers can choose grocery delivery or pickup for their order and determine how much of their SNAP benefits they would like to allocate to the order. Aldi delivery and pickup via Instacart will be available daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. New with this expansion, during a 90-day period, Instacart will waive delivery fees on up to the first three EBT SNAP orders for each Aldi customer with a valid EBT card associated with their Instacart account. Aldi pickup via Instacart costs $1.99 for orders over $35.
Once an order is placed, an Instacart personal shopper will pick and pack the order within the customer's designated time frame – whether they choose to receive their order as quickly as possible or schedule their delivery or pickup days in advance. Aldi began offering delivery service via Instacart back in 2018, and Instacart currently delivers nationwide from more than 2,000 Aldi stores.
The expansion includes the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Washington, D.C., West Virginia and Wisconsin. This latest expansion follows the addition of more than 570 stores across California, Illinois, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas in early December.
“Aldi is proud to be the first grocery retailer to accept EBT SNAP benefits as a form of payment online via Instacart for grocery delivery and curbside pickup,” said Scott Patton, vice president of national customer interaction services for Aldi U.S. "This service is now available at nearly 90% of ALDI stores, across 30 states, following successful pilots in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Texas.”
“Our mission is to create a world where everyone has access to the food they love and more time to enjoy it together. Today, we’re proud to further our mission and continue our commitment to being a long-term solution for EBT SNAP households across America,” said Andrew Nodes, VP of retail at Instacart. “As the country continues to grapple with COVID-19, we recognize the important role Instacart and its retail partners play in making same-day grocery delivery and pickup available to more people nationwide.”
The 2014 Farm Bill authorized USDA to conduct and evaluate a pilot for online purchasing prior to national implementation. The pilot phase is intended to ensure online transactions are processed safely and securely. USDA anticipates all eligible and interested retailers who can meet the requirements to process online SNAP transactions will eventually be able to take part, though the timeline is dependent on the progress of the pilot and any regulations which may need to be issued.