Instacart is now offering discounted memberships to participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Shoppers who have used an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) SNAP card to purchase groceries on Instacart in the past six months can get a discounted Instacart+ membership at $4.99 per month for 12 months, a 50% discount.
The Instacart+ subscription offers free delivery and pickup on orders over $35, along with a 5% credit back on pickup orders, and reduced service fees on every order.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service administers SNAP, which provides nutrition benefits to low-income individuals and families that can then be used at stores to purchase food.
Instacart is enabling online SNAP payments at more than 70 retailer banners, including ALDI, Food Lion, Publix, and Price Chopper/Market 32, along with outlets operated by The Save Mart Companies, which spans more than 8,000 stores across 49 states and Washington D.C.
The San Francisco-based online grocery delivery provider said that 95% of the more than 30 million people in the U.S. experiencing nutrition insecurity have access to delivery from retailers that accept EBT SNAP payment online via Instacart.
The rising cost of groceries and greater need for nutrition insecure families to have reliable access to affordable and nutritious foods were key factors in triggering the membership discount, according to a statement from Instacart.
“For individuals who face nutrition access challenges, whether they struggle to fit nutritious food into their budgets, lack reliable transportation, or have mobility issues, the discounted Instacart+ membership helps them access the food needed to live a healthier life,” the statement said. “We’re committed to increasing equitable access to food.”
Instacart studies revealed that online benefit acceptance can provide numerous additional benefits for SNAP households, the company said, including offering greater convenience and alleviating stress and stigma.
In addition, research published this fall by the University of Kentucky, No Kid Hungry, and Instacart found that online grocery shopping helps low-income families, including SNAP households, stretch their food budgets, assist with meal planning, and save time and money.
The research also found that SNAP recipients and other lower income households who grocery shop online purchase more fruits and vegetables than in-store shoppers, without increasing their total grocery bill.
“Instacart’s discounted membership for SNAP recipients is one solution that can help more food-insecure families tap into the many benefits of online grocery, including saving time, managing their budgets, and reducing transportation barriers,” Courtney Smith, senior vice president, program research, innovation, and impact, at No Kid Hungry, said in a statement.
No Kid Hungry is a national campaign focused on ending childhood hunger and run by Share Our Strength, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit working to eradicate hunger and poverty in the U.S. and around the world.