Increasing Access to Healthy Food: Instacart Introduces Discounted Instacart+ Membership for SNAP Participants
Connecting people to food is at the heart of what we do at Instacart, and we’re dedicated to helping everyone access the nourishment needed to lead healthy lives. According to the USDA, more than 10% of people in the U.S. are food insecure, meaning they lack reliable access to affordable, nutritious food (1). As the cost of groceries continues to rise (2), affordability is even more essential for nutrition insecure families across the country. That’s why, today, we’re announcing a new, discounted Instacart+ membership for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants nationwide.
Instacart Health was designed to deliver the ingredients for healthier living, and we’re committed to increasing equitable access to food. Simply, we want to help put healthy food on the table. SNAP households have reported that online grocery shopping offers greater convenience, time savings and less stress (3), and now 95% of the more than 30 million Americans experiencing nutrition insecurity have access to delivery from retailers that accept EBT SNAP payment online via Instacart (4). Beginning today, anyone who has used an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) SNAP card to purchase groceries on Instacart in the past six months can get a discounted Instacart+ membership at $4.99/month (50% off) for 12 months. With Instacart+, households can access free delivery and Pickup on orders over $35, 5% credit back on Pickup orders, and reduced service fees on every order.
Studies have shown online benefit acceptance provides numerous benefits for SNAP households. In addition to offering greater convenience and alleviating stress and stigma, research published this fall by the University of Kentucky, No Kid Hungry and Instacart found that online grocery shopping helps low-income families, including SNAP households, stretch their food budgets, assist with meal planning, and save time and money. The study also found that SNAP recipients and other lower income household shoppers who grocery shop online purchase more fruits and vegetables than in-store shoppers, without increasing their total grocery bill (5).
“Our research has shown that online grocery shopping can provide very real benefits for families on tight food budgets, including SNAP recipients,” said Courtney Smith, SVP Program Research, Innovation and Impact at No Kid Hungry. “Instacart’s discounted membership for SNAP recipients is one solution that can help more food-insecure families tap into the many benefits of online grocery – including saving time, managing their budgets, and reducing transportation barriers. We applaud Instacart for swiftly taking action to respond to the research findings and helping more families access the nutritious food they need.”
For individuals who face nutrition access challenges – whether they struggle to fit nutritious food into their budgets, lack reliable transportation, or have mobility issues – the discounted Instacart+ membership helps them access the food needed to live a healthier life. Over the last decade, we’ve built the technologies that power the grocery industry. Now, Instacart Health is building innovative solutions to directly address the critical role that the food we eat plays in our health.
You can read more about Instacart Health here. We look forward to sharing more about our solutions and partnerships across Instacart Health’s three pillars – Nutrition Security, Making Healthier Choices Easier, and Food as Medicine – in 2023.
1. USDA Economic Research Service. “Food Security and Nutrition Assistance.” October 18, 2022. https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/ag-and-food-statistics-charting-the-essentials/food-security-and-nutrition-assistance/
2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Consumer Price Index Summary.” November 10, 2022. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm
3.; 5. Anderson Steeves, E., DeWitt, E., Gillespie, R., Trude, A., Gustafson, A., “Barriers and facilitators to online grocery shopping among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Participants: A Mixed Method Study”. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, accepted for publication 2022 https://bestpractices.nokidhungry.org/resource/executive-summary-online-grocery-shopping-study
4. Feeding America. “Map the Meal Gap 2022: A Report on County and Congressional District Food Insecurity and County Food Costs in the United States in 2020.” July 2022. https://www.feedingamerica.org/sites/default/files/2022-07/Map%20the%20Meal%20Gap%202022%20Report.pdf; Instacart data as of quarter ending September 30, 2022.
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