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Instacart expands SNAP, health initiatives

Instacart SNAP (Photo: Instacart)
Instacart is expanding its SNAP program.

Instacart is increasing its efforts to accept federal benefit payments and promote food as medicine.

The grocery technology company is updating programs it is undertaking to allow customers to use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to shop online for groceries for same-day delivery, as well as to support and scale food as medicine initiatives.

A summary of each effort follows.

SNAP payments

With the recent addition of Alaska to its service area, Instacart has become the first and only online grocery marketplace to accept Supplemental  Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in all 50 states and Washington D.C. 

Now, Instacart is accepting SNAP benefits for same-day delivery of eligible purchases from Food City, Gordon Food Service, Hy-Vee, Schnucks, and additional Kroger banners including Baker’s, City Market, Dillons, Fred Meyer, Gerbes, Harris Teeter, King Soopers, Marianos, Metro Market, Pick n’ Save, Smith’s and QFC. 

Instacart currently offers online SNAP acceptance from more than 170 retail banners spanning more than 14,000 stores, reaching 96% of SNAP households in the U.S. To use SNAP benefits to shop from a participating retailer available on Instacart, customers can add their SNAP payment card to their Instacart profile. At checkout, SNAP users can select how much of their benefit they would like to allocate to eligible items in their order. 

"We’re committed to offering families access to fresh food through an accessible and affordable online shopping and delivery experience. By expanding with retailers, we're giving SNAP families greater dignity of choice, and helping many experience – for the first time – the convenience of having groceries from these retailers delivered to their doorstep," said Sarah Mastrorocco, VP and GM of Instacart Health. 

Food as medicine partnership with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Instacart, which introduced its Instacart Health program designed to promote access to healthy grocery and produce items in September 2022 and partnered with several academic institutions and health systems to examine the impact of nutrition security and food-as-medicine programs in March 2023, is launching a new partnership with HHS.

Through the partnership, Instacart and HHS will seek opportunities to support food as medicine programs, research, outreach, and policy priorities that improve health outcomes and health equity across the U.S. More specifically, the new partnership between Instacart and HHS focuses on four pillars:

  • Advancing and leveraging food as medicine research design and findings to produce evidence on clinical health outcomes, cost effectiveness and optimal program design;
  • Identifying food as medicine implementation strategies through policy and public funding frameworks;
  • Optimizing communication to educate the public about the value of food as medicine interventions and resources;
  • Ensuring food as medicine interventions support diverse individuals and communities, with a focus on health equity.

"At Instacart, we believe in the power of food as medicine, which is why we're building new technologies, advancing research, and advocating for policies that make it as easy for providers to prescribe food as it is to prescribe medicine," said Dani Dudeck, chief corporate affairs officer at Instacart. "Instacart shares HHS's unwavering commitment to improving health through the power of food, and we're proud to launch this public-private partnership with the agency to expand access to nutritious food and improve health outcomes."

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