DoorDash(opens in a new tab) will now allow customers to use Electric Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)(opens in a new tab) benefits to pay for grocery deliveries through the app, a move that the company says will help reduce barriers to fresh groceries.
In February, millions of Americans lost access to emergency SNAP benefits offered as a solution to increasing food insecurity during the pandemic. The loss amplified growing concern about access to nutritious and stable food sources among many Americans — a recent study(opens in a new tab) by the Urban Institute found that 25 percent of Americans are food insecure(opens in a new tab).
But the DoorDash expansion — similar to the EBT options offered by grocery delivery app Instacart(opens in a new tab) — aims to enable more recipients to get SNAP-eligible groceries delivered directly to their doorstep.
The new payment options initially will launch in partnership with select stores, including ALDI, Albertsons, Safeway, Meijer and 7-Eleven. Starting in July, customers will be able to access and purchase SNAP-eligible grocery products and convenience items from more than 2,200 ALDI locations across 38 states, 260 Meijer grocery locations, and 130 participating 7-Eleven stores. Customers will also be able to make grocery purchases and place home delivery orders for SNAP-eligible items at 900 Safeway and 380 Albertsons locations nationwide. Shoppers can connect DoorDash accounts to the grocer's loyalty rewards programs as well, the company explains.
According to DoorDash, the new update will impact "more than 2.3 million people who are living in USDA-defined food deserts and over 4.3 million people living in communities where over 1 in 10 households receive SNAP/EBT benefits."
The expanded option adds to DoorDash's Project DASH(opens in a new tab) initiative, a partnership with food banks and food pantries launched in 2018 to connect social impact organizations with their recipients.
"The Alliance to End Hunger is happy to see DoorDash expand its offerings with the inclusion of SNAP recipients. A key issue to ensure food security across the country is improved access, and DoorDash is taking a positive and commonsense step in today's tech-friendly world," said Eric Mitchell, executive director of the Alliance to End Hunger(opens in a new tab), a coalition of corporations, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, universities, foundations, international organizations, and individuals addressing global hunger and malnutrition needs.
Despite the existence of more than 41 million SNAP users in 2022, fewer than 100 retailers offered EBT payment options for online grocery orders as of April 2022, a glaring gap in the need for accessible grocery options, especially for recipients with disabilities or childcare needs that make shopping or picking up orders in-person difficult. But the market for digital EBT food and grocery options has been growing, with DoorDash's new update the latest example of this kind of tech integration.
"The rise of on-demand grocery delivery has had a transformational impact on food access. This is especially true for vulnerable populations, including seniors, people living in food deserts, and those facing disability or transportation barriers," said Fuad Hannon, vice president of New Verticals at DoorDash.
"Enabling SNAP recipients to order groceries through DoorDash can help families meet childcare and work obligations, relieve seniors of the potential stress of going to the grocery store, and support people with disabilities who face mobility issues by allowing them to access nutritious food efficiently and affordably with same-day delivery," the company wrote in its announcement. "We look forward to serving SNAP-utilizing households and expanding food access by providing them the opportunity to use their SNAP benefits at their favorite grocery stores in a way that offers choice and convenience."
DoorDash customers can add a SNAP or EBT card directly to the payment method section of the DoorDash app, under "Program Cards." New DoorDash customers will receive two months of DashPass (DoorDash's free delivery membership program) for free after adding an eligible card.
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