EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) are government benefits that families can use the same as cash to purchase food. Participants can walk inside any store that accepts EBT or SNAP and purchase perishable food items. However, those unable to shop in person can take advantage of the store’s home delivery program.
Most, but not all, stores use an app service, such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, or Instacart, to assist their customers with home delivery services. These services may or may not charge a fee. This depends on the store and/or the app service provider.
Some stores have their own store-branded app. The app allows its customers to create an online account to access their online accounts 24/7. If customers already have an account, they can sign up or create an Instacart account.
Customers have access to various forms of payment methods. If they do not have enough EBT benefits for their purchase, they can split payment methods.
Since more stores accept EBT/SNAP benefits, more people are signing up for home delivery. However, most customers cannot go to the store due to no transportation, bad weather, or health conditions. Others live alone or no longer drive.
From the convenience of their homes, customers can visit the store’s website and order what they want. However, customers can only purchase edible and/or perishable foods with the EBT/SNAP benefits.
Can Hot Foods be Purchased with EBT Benefits?
In general, hot foods cannot be purchased using EBT or SNAP benefits. However, in some cases, like a state of emergency, the governor or state allows EBT/SNAP users to purchase hot meals from restaurants and hot food from stores.
However, this is only under special circumstances. During the pandemic, stores restructured their services to include EBT users. Not only did this service bring more customers to these stores, but also more financial resources.
For stores to accept this service, they must apply. However, many of these stores still accept EBT users and offer delivery services.
Some of the foods EBT customers can use a delivery service and purchase are bread, eggs, butter, cheese, cold cuts, frozen or fresh meats, fresh or frozen vegetables, canned goods, boxed foods and cereals, rice, pasta, beans, lentils, ice cream, frozen dinners, milk, and more.
If the consumer can consume the food by cooking it themselves or reheating frozen or cold foods, they can order their foods from the participating store that accepts EBT and participants in the program.
EBT has not always been called EBT or SNAP. When the program was enacted into law in 1939, it started with blue and orange stamps. Depending on the color of the stamps, only certain foods and staples can be purchased.
The program came into existence during the great depression. Then, when farmers were taking a beating financially, millions of people went to bed and woke up hungry.
To create false scarcity and increase prices, the United States Department of Agriculture, in agreement with then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt, collaborated to pay farmers to destroy their vegetation and murder their hogs. This senseless destruction of much-needed food prompted a national outcry as millions of people were in dire need.
That outcry prompted the Federal Surplus Commodities Cooperation to establish a new agency that would distribute food directly into the hands of needy individuals and families at little or no cost. However, merchants and grocers complained that the agency’s interference was interrupting their profits.
As time went by, merchants began to welcome shoppers, and more merchants became participants in accepting food stamps. Over the following decades, both democratic and republican presidents formed a joint effort to keep the program alive. The objective was to make sure that no American would go hungry.
Today, the name of the program and the method of distributing food assistance have changed. Families no longer rely on orange and blue stamps but an electronic form of assistance.
The Electronic Benefits Transfer debit card is loaded each month with benefits for families depending on the number of people in the family and their income. In addition, the card can be used to purchase any type of edible fresh, canned, or frozen food and any type of non-alcoholic beverage.
Hundreds of stores nationwide accept EBT, but many of them do not. Moreover, the ones that accept Electronic Benefits Transfers do not necessarily offer delivery services.
However, the merchants that accept EBT do offer delivery services through their website or thru Instacart. As of October 2021, more than 42 million people received food stamps, EBT, or SNAP benefits. This could mean that many retailers will apply to serve low-income and poverty-stricken families through their online platform, which allows EBT participants to shop, order, and have their food delivered through online platforms.
The only drawback to online delivery is the delivery fee, which cannot be paid for with (EBT) Electronic Benefits Transfer assistance.
Which Food Delivery Apps Accept EBT/SNAP?
Many customers know about Instacart but not about its history or what contributions Instacart makes. Instacart is known for its successful online grocery platform. The platform allows customers to shop online using their EBT assistance from the store of their choice.
Since launching its EBT platform nearly two years ago, Instacart has expanded its EBT platform to welcome 40 new partners that agree to accept Electronic Benefits Transfer and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as a form of payment. The new stores include Food 4 Less in California, Rancho San Miguel, PAQ Inc, and Fairplay Foods.
Instacart is now adding traditional grocers to its growing list of partners. In addition, the retailers have access to the Instacart virtual website, where customers can place their orders for food and other items of convenience.
Instacart is also recruiting other retailers, such as Food Lion Now, Martin Instant Delivery, Giant Food, Hannaford Now, and more. These retailers offer essential household foods, snacks, and drinks to EBT and SNAP users. A list of retailers that accept EBT and SNAP can be found on the Instacart marketplace website on the “Convenience Hub.”
The goal that Instacart is trying to achieve is worldwide. They want more retailers to join them in helping individuals and families acquire healthy and nutritious meals. Unfortunately, most families do not have the money to afford groceries, which is why they are receiving EBT and SNAP assistance.
Stores that Accept EBT Orders Online
Wal-Mart is one of America’s favorite stores. Wal-Mart offers an easy shopping solution for customers to get their food items without leaving home. In addition, customers can visit the Wal-Mart website, called “Wal-Mart Online,” and participate in their delivery service.
The service accepts EBT orders from customers if the food is not warm, hot, or cooked. First, customers need to download the Wal-Mart or Instacart app and create an account with Wal-Mart and/or Instacart.
Walmart also offers curbside services. Customers can order their food online, pay for it with their Electronic Benefits Transfer assistance, and choose pickup or delivery. The food giant accepted EBT years ago and is expanding the usage of EBT among its other stores in various parts of the country.
Ordering food from Publix using EBT assistance works the same at most, if not all, participating stores. Customers create a shopping list, put their items in the cart, and use their EBT card as payment at the online checkout.
They can also choose their delivery option. However, the process can be easier. The EBT card can be added to an Instacart profile in the payment section. Foods that are EBT eligible through Instacart are labeled as EBT SNAP eligible. After customers are shopping online, they can select EBT or SNAP as their primary payment method.
Amazon Fresh is different from other delivery apps and services. Customers can order delivery services from any delivery services listed and have their groceries delivered to any location. Some customers might find it easier to order food at work, at school, or in the office.
Customers can find nearly any type of food they want from the Amazon Fresh Pantry. This convenience allows them to avoid the long lines, the traffic, and the hassle of looking for a parking spot. For EBT users that depend on the transit system for transportation, home delivery service is even more reason to shop online and opt for home delivery.
Aldi Store has an app that customers can download from the Google Play Store on their phones. The app allows customers to shop at the store or online from the comfort of their own or other location. ALDI accepts EBT/SNAP as a form of payment, cash, and other forms of compensation.
Once customers download the app, they can register for curbside or home delivery services. We have a new ALDI store in Pensacola, and we are excited about trying out their service.
If customers choose to shop at ALDI’s, they are in for a treat. Customers will need to bring their shopping bags and be prepared to pay twenty-five cents for the use of a shopping cart.
Does DoorDash Accept EBT?
Yes and No. Depending upon which state you live in, DoorDash will deliver your groceries through its online delivery platform. However, DoorDash does not accept EBT deliveries in some states, such as Florida.
People that live in states like Washington DC, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York, can place their orders online through the Albertson Delivery Program.
Delivery services like GrubHub, Shipt, and Uber Eats do not accept EBT online delivery orders. If you happen to live in a state that does accept EBT app delivery services, count yourself lucky.
Shipt does not accept EBT because the Electronic Benefits Transfer card does not contain the CVV or three-digit code on the back of the card. For this reason, only major credit cards and gift cards are accepted at this time.
Suppose you receive EBT and need to order groceries online, and your local store does not offer EBT delivery. In that case, you will need to plan for curbside pickup or use the participating store’s online delivery service app. In addition, you might be charged a delivery fee, or you might have to order a certain amount of groceries to pay for the offset.