Midwestern grocer Hy-Vee now enables Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants to pay via electronic benefits transfer (EBT) for online grocery pickup orders at all stores offering the service.
Hy-Vee said Tuesday that beneficiaries of SNAP, also known as food stamps, now can shop online for groceries at Hy-Vee.com or via the Hy-Vee Aisles Online mobile app and receive their order curbside at a Hy-Vee store. The service is available at more than 250 of Hy-Vee’s 260-plus stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
“By offering SNAP/EBT as a payment option for pickup, we can now serve more customers with our Hy-Vee Aisles Online pickup service,” Tom Crocker, senior vice president of e-commerce at Hy-Vee, said in a statement. “As we work to continually improve our e-commerce offerings, this is just one more way we can help our customers who want to shop from the comfort of their home versus venturing to the grocery store.”
West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee noted that it has seen increased order volume for its pickup service during the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the chain has hired more Aisles Online associates, added more order pickup time slots and improved communication.
To use Aisles Online pickup, SNAP/EBT recipients choose their preferred store location at Hy-Vee.com or the Hy-Vee Aisles Online app, shop for groceries, select a pickup date and time, and pick SNAP/EBT as the payment method. When notified that their order is ready, customers go to the store, look for the pickup signs in the parking lot, pull into the designated spot and call the number on the sign. An Aisles Online associate then brings out their groceries and loads them into their vehicle.
SNAP/EBT payment is made at the time of pickup. Customers using that payment method must bring both their SNAP/EBT card and a credit/debit card to pay for any items not EBT-eligible, Hy-Vee said. Cash and checks aren’t accepted as payment for curbside pickup orders. The retailer added that it currently can’t accept SNAP/EBT payment online for home delivery orders.
Both The Kroger Co. and Walmart are among the grocery retailers that have enabled SNAP/EBT payments for grocery pickup orders. SNAP participants making online purchases with Kroger must pay with their EBT card at the time of pickup, while Walmart requires those customers to use their EBT card in states where EBT payments aren’t accepted online for SNAP.
Under the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot, launched by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in April 2019, 41 states and the District of Columbia now allow SNAP beneficiaries to shop and pay for groceries online. Five more states — Arkansas, Hawaii, Kansas, Mississippi and North Dakota — are not yet live with the service.
Amazon and Walmart are the only SNAP online retailers working with all eligible states. Wakefern Food Corp.’s ShopRite banner is working with Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, while the retail grocery cooperative’s The Fresh Grocer banner is working with New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Wright’s Market is working with Alabama. Walmart reported in mid-July that nearly 3,000 of its stores in 39 states now accept SNAP benefits online for grocery delivery and pickup orders.