Food Lion accepts online SNAP payments for Instacart orders

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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A regional grocer is the latest retailer to accept federal benefit payments for eligible online orders.

Food Lion is now accepting EBT SNAP online payment for online grocery delivery and pickup at more than 350 stores across North Carolina. North Carolina is the first state to receive this EBT SNAP expansion from the USDA to Food Lion. The retailer will roll out the program to stores in Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Customers will be able to shop and select from Food Lion’s EBT SNAP-eligible products. Once items are added to their cart, customers will be able to select how much of their benefits they would like to allocate to the order, with same-day delivery or pickup facilitated by Instacart.

EBT SNAP benefits (popularly known as food stamps) are growing in acceptance as a form of payment for online purchases by an increasing number of grocers. Aldi began accepting SNAP payments for online orders in cooperation with Instacart in November 2020. Other retailers accepting online SNAP payments for online grocery orders in at least some locations include Hy-Vee, Walmart, Amazon, and Kroger.

To help subsidize costs for EBT SNAP beneficiaries, through March 16, 2021, Instacart will waive delivery and/or pickup fees on up to the first three EBT SNAP orders for each customer with a valid EBT card associated with their Instacart account. Food Lion has partnered with Instacart since 2016, and currently offers Instacart delivery and pickup across its operating region from 600-plus stores. 

The 2014 Farm Bill authorized USDA to conduct and evaluate a pilot for online purchasing prior to national implementation. The pilot phase is intended to ensure online transactions are processed safely and securely. USDA anticipates all eligible and interested retailers who can meet the requirements to process online SNAP transactions will eventually be able to take part, though the timeline is dependent on the progress of the pilot and any regulations which may need to be issued.

Food Lion is a division of Ahold Delhaize USA and operates more than 1,000 stores across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states of Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.