- Hy-Vee will now accept SNAP and EBT as payment for its Aisles Online grocery pickup service, the company announced in a press release.
- Once customers get to the store, they can pull into a designated parking spot for pickup orders and call the number on the sign. An employee will then bring out the order and load it in the car. SNAP/EBT users must bring their card to pickup and a credit card to pay for items that are not SNAP/EBT-eligible.
- SNAP/EBT users can shop online at Hy-Vee.com or the mobile app and in checkout, pick SNAP/EBT as a payment option. They can then pick up orders curbside at any of Hy-Vee’s more than 250 pickup locations.
Hy-Vee joins a growing number of grocers like Walmart, Amazon, ShopRite and Kroger in adding SNAP/EBT to their payment options for online shopping.
While most states and stores originally only accepted SNAP/EBT payment in-store, the USDA launched a two-year pilot last April for online purchases. It was first tested in New York, but picked up steam especially during the outbreak. Currently 41 states and the District of Columbia are participating. These moves came amid increased pressure from health experts, legislators and advocacy groups, noting that many beneficiaries may be seniors and/or immunocompromised who need the option for health reasons. The call to expand SNAP/EBT payments is exacerbated by huge unemployment numbers, with more than 45 million U.S. workers filing claims during the pandemic.
Grocery pickup fees are lower than delivery fees, and retailers like Albertsons and Kroger have waived those charges during the pandemic, helping drive consumers, including many SNAP users, to the service. While SNAP benefits can cover eligible food for delivery, the fees and other associated charges are not included, according to the USDA website.
In order to handle the increase in pickup orders during COVID-19 and potentially even more so now that SNAP/EBT is accepted, Hy-Vee has hired more Aisles Online team members, added pickup slots and increased communication, according to the company.