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Instacart, Shipt Expand Payment Options to Improve Food Access for Low-Income Households

Instacart rolls out new suite of tools for online grocery.

Both Instacart and Target’s Shipt will expand their payment options for low-income shoppers in moves that coincide with the White House’s effort to end hunger in the country and increase healthy eating initiatives by 2030. Part of the initiative includes updating regulations that allow online shopping with programs like food stamps (now called SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

As a result, Instacart will now accept TANF starting in 2023, in addition to SNAP benefits using EBT cards. TANF will cover non-grocery items and service and delivery fees, which are not covered by SNAP EBT benefits. The delivery provider also is pushing to offer food stamp payments for all its grocery partners.

“Instacart has become a staple in millions of households, which puts us at the heart of the relationship that people have with food, and therefore, their health,” said Fidji Simo, CEO of Instacart in a statement. “We have a responsibility to use the power of our platform, products and partnerships to expand access to nutritious food and improve health outcomes.”

Shipt will add SNAP EBT as a payment option, which parent company Target already accepts for online grocery orders, in 2023.

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“As a tech company that delivers groceries, partners with organizations across the country and prioritizes food insecurity as a pillar of focus, Shipt is uniquely positioned to contribute to this conversation,” said Kamau Witherspoon, CEO of Shipt in a statement. “Shipt is delivering for the communities we serve by expanding access to healthy foods to those who need it most. These new initiatives are an essential part of our ongoing commitment to put people first and make a meaningful impact in parts of our country that have been left out or left behind.”Neither Instacart nor Shipt currently offers a WIC payment option, and only Instacart is currently planning to add TANF.

The Biden administration is ramping up efforts to encourage healthy eating and curtail diet-related diseases as part of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, taking place Sept. 28, 2022. More than 783,000 U.S. families receive TANF benefits as of March 2022 and 21.6 million households receive SNAP benefits as of June 2022, according to government data.

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