- Schnuck Markets is now accepting online Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) payments for SNAP participants chainwide through Instacart, the grocer said in a press release earlier this week.
- Schnucks is the latest in a string of grocers, including Giant Food, Tops Friendly Markets, and Giant and Martin's in Pennsylvania that have signed onto the USDA's SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot and rolled out the online payment functionality in the past month. The Giant Company said it will offer EBT online payments to its stores in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia later this month.
- The grocers’ deployments of EBT online payments follow the government's expansion of certain nutrition benefits this spring and continue the growing trend of retailers adding the functionality.
Schnucks, Giant Food and Tops are the latest grocers offering EBT online payments through Instacart. The e-commerce provider has been rolling out the functionality to its grocery partners following its pilot with Aldi late last year.
In an effort to incentivize SNAP participants to use online ordering, Instacart is waiving the delivery or pickup fees for their first three orders from Schnucks and Tops through Sept. 16.
Meanwhile, fees for online orders from The Giant Company and Giant Food’s Pickup and Delivers services will apply to SNAP users, which require an additional payment method because SNAP benefits only cover eligible grocery items. The Giant Company said order minimums will not apply to SNAP users.
The diversity of retailers that have made online grocery shopping available to SNAP recipients has grown from the initial days of Amazon and Walmart dominating the USDA’s program. After the pandemic hit the U.S., the federal government opened up its program, allowing grocers to apply to offer EBT online payments, and more states have signed on in the past year, now totaling 47 and Washington, D.C.
Grocers offering EBT online payments vary across states, and the mix of retailers now includes national, regional and local grocers; discounters; and club retailer BJ’s Wholesale Club.
Other grocers, like Kroger, haven’t rolled out the EBT online payment option, but do allow SNAP participants to place pickup orders online and pay when they arrive at the store.