SNAP has another store for online groceries
December 15, 2020
The Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced ALDI has joined the United States Department of Agriculture’s pilot program allowing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to purchase groceries online in partnership with Instacart.
ALDI is the fifth retailer in Pennsylvania to be approved for the pilot, which lets SNAP recipients purchase groceries online using SNAP funds through participating retailers approved by the USDA, helping lessen the need for trips out of the home amidst the public health crisis.
“Pennsylvania joined the online SNAP purchasing pilot to increase the number of ways SNAP recipients across Pennsylvania could safely shop for fresh groceries and pantry staples and help mitigate the need to leave their home and be in public during the public health crisis,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “Many SNAP recipients are older and may have chronic health conditions, and the addition of ALDI to this pilot gives them another option to access quality, healthy foods while keeping themselves safe from COVID-19.”
ALDI is now available as an option at all Pennsylvania locations, offering same-day grocery pick-up and delivery through Instacart as available. ALDI joins four other approved retailers: Amazon, the Fresh Grocer, Shoprite, and Walmart, and since the program’s launch, these four retailers saw about $54.4 million in online SNAP purchases by Pennsylvanians since the pilot launched in the commonwealth in June 2020.
Retailers that are interested in participating in this program must contact the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and review the requirements. Retailers that do not wish to join the pilot program can still offer delivery or pick-up flexibility options for SNAP recipients by using mobile EBT processing equipment that would allow customers to pay with SNAP when groceries are delivered or picked up.
Farmers markets may be able to receive this processing equipment at no cost through a grant opportunity provided by DHS.
Only eligible food items normally paid for by SNAP are able to be purchased from these retailers online with SNAP benefits. Delivery fees, driver tips, and other associated charges may not be paid for with SNAP benefits. This initiative does not include the ability to transact cash assistance benefits using the EBT card, and individuals will need to use another method of payment, such as a pre-paid debit card, to cover non-allowable fees.
Applications for SNAP and other public assistance programs can be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us. Those who prefer to submit paper documentation can mail to their local County Assistance Office (CAO) or place it in a CAO’s secure drop box, if available. While CAOs remain closed, work processing applications, determining eligibility, and issuing benefits continues.
Clients should use COMPASS or the MyCOMPASS PA mobile app to submit necessary updates to their case files while CAOs are closed.
For more information about food assistance resources for people around Pennsylvania impacted by COVID-19 and the accompanying economic insecurity, visit https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Food_Security/Pages/default.aspx.