Tops Friendly Markets has begun accepting of electronic benefit transfer (EBT) payments for Instacart online grocery orders from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) customers at most of its New York stores, with plans to bring the capability to other states.
SNAP shoppers can use the EBT service at the 126 New York locations where Tops offers Instacart same-day delivery and pickup services. The Williamsville, N.Y.-based regional grocer said that, in the coming weeks Tops, it aims to expand SNAP EBT payment to its Pennsylvania and Vermont stores that provide Instacart delivery and pickup.
“Tops Friendly Markets is excited to pilot these services in our largest market of Instacart stores,” Jill Sirica, manager of digital marketing for Tops, said in a statement. “At the core of Tops mission is combating food insecurity, and this will help bridge that gap of helping families gain accessibility to healthy and affordable food, something we have strived for since we began our partnership with Instacart. We are truly excited to see it come to fruition.”
To use the EBT service, Tops SNAP customers go to instacart.topsmarkets.com or open the Instacart app, enter their ZIP code, select their local Tops 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, such as bottle deposits, taxes, delivery tips and other non-EBT SNAP-eligible items that may be part of their transaction, Tops noted. 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.
With the launch of the service at the New York stores, Instacart is waiving delivery or pickup fees through Sept. 16 for SNAP EBT participants, covering up to their first three orders, Tops said.
“We’re proud to partner with Tops Friendly Markets to provide more families with a convenient and accessible way to get their fresh food and pantry staples,” commented David Healy, who handles retail partnerships at Instacart. “Expanding EBT SNAP to reach same-day online grocery delivery and pickup is important to help people access the food they need, and we look forward to expanding this payment integration to even more retailers across New York, Vermont and Pennsylvania.”
Overall, Top has 162 supermarkets in New York, northern Pennsylvania and western Vermont, including five stores run by franchisees.