Atlanta-area independent grocer Little Giant Farmer’s Market has enabled Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants to directly pay for Instacart same-day delivery orders through electronic benefit transfer (EBT).
Jonesboro, Ga.-based Little Giant said yesterday that the launch follows the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s recent approval allowing the retailer and Instacart to initiate their SNAP online grocery partnership. The five-store chain, owned Jackson Mitchell Holdings Inc., expects the SNAP EBT capability for delivery to boost access for customers, since transportation is often an obstacle in getting to the grocery store.
To help subsidize costs for EBT SNAP participants, Instacart is waiving delivery or pickup fees through Dec. 31 for up to the first three EBT SNAP orders for each customer with a valid EBT card associated with their Instacart account.
“Making fresh food and essential items accessible to more people in our community is our sole mission. So this partnership directly aligns with Little Giant's company values,” Jackson Mitchell, CEO of Little Giant Farmers Market, said in a statement. “We are excited for the opportunity to offer this service to our EBT SNAP customers and appreciate the imperative work both Instacart and the DHS have done to make this happen.”
To use the EBT service, Little Giant SNAP customers go to the Instacart online marketplace or open the Instacart app, enter their ZIP code, select their local store and start shopping for eligible fresh food, grocery and daily essential products. When done adding items to the virtual cart, they then choose a delivery or pickup window and check out. Personal shoppers pick and pack the orders and then deliver them to customers’ homes or, if pickup service is chosen, load them into their vehicles when they arrive at the store.
SNAP customers must link an EBT card to their Instacart account as well as a credit or debit card to cover non-food fees. Also, once items are added to their cart, customers can designate how much of their SNAP benefits they would like to allocate to the order.
Little Giant launched online grocery shopping and delivery with Instacart earlier this year. The grocery chain was acquired by Jackson Mitchell Holdings, a company led by a member of the family that owns wholesaler Mitchell Grocery Corp., in mid-2019. All five stores — in Riverdale, Jonesboro, Decatur and Newnan (two locations), Ga. — have since undergone extensive remodels and updates to better serve their respective communities, the company added.
“We’re proud to partner with Little Giant Farmer’s Market to provide more households with a convenient and accessible way to get their fresh food and pantry staples,” commented David Healy, who leads retail partnerships at San Francisco-based Instacart. “Expanding EBT SNAP to reach same-day online grocery delivery is important to help people access the food they need, and we look forward to introducing this payment integration across the greater Atlanta area in partnership with Little Giant.”
Under the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot, launched by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) in April 2019, 47 states and the District of Columbia now allow SNAP beneficiaries to shop and pay for groceries online. A growing number of grocery chains have signed on to offer SNAP online purchases this year. Retailers ranging from Ahold Delhaize USA, Schnuck Markets, Tops Markets and Publix Super Markets to Harps Food Stores, Save Mart, Price Chopper and more have kicked off the program at their stores in 2021.