- Meijer has expanded its Flashfood partnership to accept SNAP benefits through the tech company’s app, making it the first grocer to do so, according to a Tuesday press release.
- Customers with SNAP benefits can now pay for their Flashfood orders, which consist of discounted surplus close-dated food, using their EBT card in the Flashfood app.
- In recent months, grocers have made strides in expanding SNAP accessibility both in-store and online.
The new capability is now available at all Meijer supercenters and grocery stores, bringing EBT card Flashfood payments to Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, according to the press release. All shoppers need to do is add their EBT card as a payment method on the app, the announcement said.
With around a dozen grocery partners and operating in over 1,600 grocery locations, Flashfood aims to help reduce food waste by selling food nearing its sell-by date at a discounted rate. Since launching their partnership in November 2019, Flashfood has helped Meijer divert around 5.6 million pounds of food that was nearing its sell-by date from being dumped in landfills, per the announcement. More than 500,000 Meijer shoppers currently use the service.
“We want to make healthy, high-quality groceries an affordable reality for every American family and adding SNAP benefits to Flashfood gets us one step closer to that vision,” Flashfood founder and CEO Josh Domingues said in the press release.
In addition to growing its Flashfood program, Meijer has taken steps within the past year to make SNAP benefits more accessible. In February, the grocer announced discounts on select produce items for SNAP customers through a recent USDA waiver.
In April 2022, the grocer announced accepting online grocery payments for shoppers enrolled in SNAP benefits. Initially rolling out the capability to Michigan stores, the grocer noted expanding it to customers in its remaining operating states only a few weeks later.
Grocers have significantly expanded digital SNAP payment capabilities in recent years. In the same week as Meijer’s online SNAP integration last spring, Bashas, another regional grocer, announced offering EBT online payment for same-day delivery and curbside pickup for order placed via Instacart in more than 100 of its Arizona stores. Independently, Instacart launched discounted memberships for SNAP participants in December 2022.
The USDA has also made efforts to extend SNAP capabilities, announcing earlier this month its Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has partnered with five states to pilot mobile payment technology that enables contactless payments for SNAP consumers. The five states include Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri and Oklahoma.