- Albertsons is now accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for grocery pickup orders at certain Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Jewel-Osco and Carrs locations, the company announced Thursday.
- SNAP recipients can now place online orders and pay with their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards at almost 200 pickup locations. Albertsons' Drive Up & Go service doesn’t have a fee.
- In the announcement, Albertsons said that allowing EBT payments for pickup orders is part of its larger acceleration of e-commerce offerings and that it plans to keep expanding online shopping for SNAP recipients.
Albertsons has now joined a growing number of grocers, including Walmart, Kroger and Hy-Vee, that are allowing people to pay for their groceries with their EBT cards at the point of pickup. Albertsons said that shoppers can include items that are not eligible for SNAP in their orders and pay separately when picking up their orders.
The announcement means that SNAP benefits are now accepted for pickup orders at roughly 21% of the grocery chain's stores that offer Drive Up & Go.
Albertsons, the second-largest grocer in the U.S., has previously said it plans to expand Drive Up & Go, which is currently available at 950 stores, to 1,400 stores by next year. During an earnings call in September, CEO Vivek Sankaran said pickup is the fastest-growing part of the company's e-commerce efforts, which have ramped up during the pandemic. For example, the company added a live chat feature to its online platform in the spring and in October announced it will test self-serve pickup lockers at select Jewel-Osco locations in Chicago and Safeway stores in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Meanwhile, dozens of grocers are turning to the SNAP online purchasing pilot run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. In October, Aldi and Instacart partnered up to allow online SNAP payments, and in November, the USDA said it’s expecting to approve at least 18 new grocery stores, including several independent grocers in the South and Midwest. Albertsons is currently piloting SNAP online payments in Washington, and a spokesperson for the retailer said it's working with the USDA to expand the option to additional locations.