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Does Instacart take EBT?

By Ferdi Vol
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For many doing something as menial as paying for their groceries can become a daunting challenge. With over 60 million Americans living below the poverty line, EBT has become essential for many. Previously people dependent on EBT weren’t able to enjoy the convenience of food delivery services like Instacart. But now things have changed for the better. 

If you are wondering “Does Instacart take EBT?” then the answer is an astounding yes. Instacart didn’t use to take EBT. But now it has partnered with ALDI and launched a pilot program to allow EBT as a form of payment. 

There is more to the story though. So, if you want to know about it a bit more in-depth, stick around, and read on. I will also tell you how to order through Instacart using EBT payment.

What is EBT?

EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer. An EBT card allows you to pay retailers for products from your government benefits fund. EBT has two categories of benefits – food and cash.

The Food benefits are distributed through a program called SNAP. That is also one of the main points of discussion in this article. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 

Remember food stamps? That is what SNAP is. Food stamps are now called SNAP. With the SNAP program, millions of families in America can get access to nutrition. 

Life is hard and not everyone has it the same way. Some families suffer more than others. This is where the SNAP program can help to struggle with low-income families to feed themselves. 

Does Instacart Take EBT?

Here is the good news, you can use your SNAP EBT card to pay for groceries. Food delivery might be seen as a luxury. But at times like these when everyone is highly urged to stay inside their homes, food delivery options become a necessity for keeping the fridge stocked.

Instacart has partnered with ALDI to introduce EBT payments. This partnership will greatly help many families to have food delivered to their homes. Instacart will roll out the program in steps.

You can pay with EBT in 60 ALDI stores across Georgia as of now. There are plans to roll the program to more states as well. As the program expands, you will be able to pay with EBT through Instacart at a total of 570 stores across California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Florida when you shop from ALDI.

How to Order on Instacart and Pay with EBT?

Using Instacart is very easy and intuitive. The app has made ordering groceries and having them delivered to your home quite a seamless experience. Keeping in line with the overall ease of use, paying with EBT is also easy. 

There are a couple of things to note here. You can shop for products from only ALDI if you want to pay with EBT. This is because Instacart has only partnered with ALDI for the program. That is not a bad thing though. ALDI has everything you would need. 

Here are a couple of points you need to remember when shopping:

  • You can only shop for SNAP-eligible products if you are planning to pay via EBT. All products. You cannot choose whatever items you want, unfortunately. This is in line with the EBT card policies as well. 
  • Before check out, you can allocate how much of your EBT benefits you want to use for a particular order. This is especially a great feature if you can pay some part of the cost with other means. You do not end up exhausting your EBT benefits quickly.

Does Walmart Use EBT?

You can also pay with your EBT card when you shop for groceries at Walmart as well. You cannot have food delivered though. You need to pick up the groceries yourself. The process of using EBT payments with Walmart is very easy too. 

Here are the steps to pay for groceries at Walmart with EBT:

Step 1 – Order on the site

First up, you need to order the groceries you want from Walmart’s online portal. Go to Walmart.com/grocery to order. You can even use the Walmart Grocery app as well. The app is available for both iOS and Android users.

Step 2 – Select EBT as Payment 

When you checkout, the app will prompt you to choose a payment option. You should be able to see EBT as your payment option. Select EBT.

Step 3 – Pickup and Payment

When you arrive to pick up your order and groceries, simply swipe your EBT card to complete the purchase. It really is as simple as that.

As you can see, a key difference between Walmart’s solutions is you cannot order home delivery. You need to physically pick up the groceries yourself. Walmart makes the process intuitive by allowing you to choose your order from the app or site. 

Also, some customers report that their local Walmart does accept EBT for home delivery. You can contact the Walmart in your area to inquire if you can pay with EBT for home delivery.          

Does ALDI Use EBT?

ALDI also accepts EBT payments. Traditionally, if you wanted to pay with EBT at ALDI stores you had to visit the stores in person. Those options are also available to you. However, you can also use EBT to pay for home-delivered groceries through Instacart.

ALDI accepts a myriad of payment options. You can use debit/credit cards, link cards and also digital wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay. 

Keep in mind though, if you choose to pay with an EBT card, your options are limited. You can only pay for items that are eligible for EBT card payments. Alcohol, for instance, cannot be bought with an EBT card.

Is Instacart Worth It for EBT Card Holder

Many people may still regard online shopping for groceries as a luxury. That is not all true. There are many benefits to shopping online even for low-income families. Besides, technologies are changing. More and more people are getting accustomed to technology and the convenience it brings. 

Online shopping has seen a huge rise over the past couple of years. Instacart partnering with ALDI to support EBT is good news for all. Especially for low-income families. 

Here are some of the reason why using Instacart and paying with EBT is worth it:

  • It saves a lot of time

When every minute counts and you need to work longer hours, using home delivery for your groceries can free up some valuable time. You can use this time either with your family or an extra hour at work.

  • It is more convenient 

No matter how you look at it, shopping online for groceries is very convenient. And there is no reason why low-income families cannot access the same conveniences millions of people already enjoy.

Instacart partnering up with ALDI allows for more people to conveniently shop online for groceries. You do not need to leave the house. This is also another plus. 

  • You have more choices 

Shopping online gives you more choices. You can compare prices and see which items are cheaper and where. 

That might not be relevant quite at this point because you can shop using EBT only from ALDI using Instacart. But as more and more retailers join, the future prospects look very bright indeed.

  • You actually spend less

I’ve personally found myself buying more items if they are physically in front of me. For whatever reason I’m more drawn to a bag of chips sitting in front of me at the store than the picture of one on my phone’s screen. And I’m sure that I’m not the only one who feels this way. 

Online shopping on your phone allows you to avoid distractions and only spend on what you initially planned to get. For people dependent on EBT, this is surely something to think about.  

How is SNAP Feeding Low-income Families?

As we mentioned, SNAP is a program that was previously called food stamps. It is a federal program and has helped millions of Americans out of poverty. Just in 2015, the program was able to lift about 4.6 million people above the poverty line.

Not only that, but SNAP also supports the economy and also does its fair share in creating jobs for the American people. A study done by the USDA done in 2010 concluded that with every $1 billion addition in funding for SNAP, anywhere between 8900 to 17000 jobs were created.

Everyone can agree that SNAP has done its fair share for the American economy and has tremendously helped millions of people put food on their tables. These benefits are distributed through EBT cards.

It took 2 million children above the poverty line by 2015. These children can now have a better chance at healthier adult life and become a more functioning member of society.

Who is Eligible for SNAP?

Not everyone can use SNAP benefits. The benefits are reserved for people that are truly in need. There is a minimal edibility process that everyone has to go through. To be eligible for SNAP benefits you need to have a gross income up to 130% of the federal poverty line. But what does that mean in monthly wages earned?

Well, a family of four cannot earn more than $2633/month to be eligible. If you are an adult and able to work, you can receive benefits for three months during any three-year period. This is, of course, if you are not working 20 hours per week or actively participating in any sort of training program.

Applying for SNAP

If you want to apply for benefits, you will need to contact your local SNAP office. They will guide you through the process and also tell you if you are eligible or not. A lot of food banks also assist with SNAP applications.

Also, you can always visit the official USDA to know more about the SNAP program.

Conclusion 

I hope this article answers your question - “Does Instacart take EBT?”. If you have never used Instacart for home-delivered groceries, the new EBT payment might entice you to use the app.   

Times can be tough. And when companies are partnering up to benefit people and bring more convenience to people’s lives that is something worthy of praise. So, enjoy the benefits you are receiving. I wish you the best of luck. 

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About the Grocery Store Academy
The Grocery Store Academy is a blog about everything that has to do with grocery stores. This is your #1 spot to find the right information for your needs.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol has worked several years in a grocery store and has a passion for good food. He's happy to share his passion with you!
About Ferdi Vol
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