Instacart is first online marketplace to accept SNAP payments in all 50 states

Marianne Wilson
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Instacart is the first digital marketplace to offer online SNAP benefits in every state.
Instacart is the first digital marketplace to offer online SNAP benefits in every state.

Instacart has reached a key milestone.

 With the recent addition of Alaska to its service area, Instacart has become the first and only online grocery marketplace to accept Suppmental  Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in all 50 states and Washington D.C. The benefits can now be used to buy groceries online via Instacart in every state.

The company reached the milestone with the recent launch of online SNAP acceptance in Alaska with Albertsons Cos.’ banner Safeway.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDAFNS) more than 42 million people — over 12% of the U.S. population —  are enrolled in SNAP. With the expansion, Instacart now reaches nearly 95% of U.S. households enrolled in SNAP.

"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.”

Instacart first brought SNAP online in 2020, working closely with the USDAFNS to pioneer the retail onboarding process and expand access to online SNAP payments across the country. The tech company now offers online SNAP acceptance from more than 120 retail banners across more than 10,000 stores, more than any other online grocery marketplace.

"USDA is committed to ensuring every family has access to affordable, nutritious food, and we recognize the important role of private sector leaders in expanding equitable access to SNAP online shopping," said Stacy Dean, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. "Such partnerships strengthen our collective commitment to advancing President Biden's National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health."

Research published last year by the University of Kentucky, No Kid Hungry and Instacart showed that online grocery shopping helps low-income families, including SNAP households, overcome mobility barriers, stretch food budgets, assist with meal planning, save time and money, and decrease potential stigma associated with using benefits in-store.

The study also found that SNAP recipients and families in lower income households who grocery shop online purchase more fruits and vegetables than in-store shoppers, without increasing their total grocery bill.

"We've seen firsthand that grocery delivery can play a powerful role in expanding access to nutrition – a cornerstone of our mission and Instacart Health initiative,” said Sarah Mastrorocco, VP and general manager of Instacart Health. "Online SNAP acceptance on our marketplace offers families flexibility, convenience and dignity of choice, and we're proud to partner with Albertsons Companies to bring these benefits to Alaskans."

“Through our partnership with Instacart, we offer SNAP recipients same-day delivery and help overcome mobility challenges, including physical disability and lack of transportation, to better serve our customers," said Stephen Menaquale, senior VP e-commerce for Albertsons Cos. "Enabling SNAP online is a critical component of our ongoing efforts to create accessible, flexible and convenient shopping experiences for all customers."

Where available, SNAP participants can shop for groceries on Instacart from local retailers for delivery or pickup in as fast as 30-minutes or scheduled several days in advance.