Instacart now accepts SNAP benefits at 4,000 US stores
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Grocery delivery service Instacart announced Thursday it is expanding its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) online payment system, increasing the number of stores that offer the service to more than 4,000.

The company is partnering with three new retailers — Publix, The Save Mart Companies and Price Chopper/Market 32 — which will add 1,500 more stores that offer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) payments for online grocery and delivery across 15 states, according to a press release from the company.

The EBT system, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), allows SNAP participants to purchase food using SNAP benefits.

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When the expansion is complete, EBT SNAP customers will be able to purchase groceries from more than 4,000 stores across 38 states and Washington, D.C.

Additionally, to help subsidize costs for SNAP participants, Instacart said it will waive delivery or pickup fees on up to the first three EBT SNAP orders for customers who qualify, until June 16.

“We recognize the opportunity we have to help make fresh food and pantry staples more accessible to communities by breaking down barriers to same-day grocery delivery and pickup,” Instacart President Nilam Ganenthiran said.

Instacart first rolled out EBT SNAP payments last year with more than 2,000 locations nationwide.

Bloomberg previously reported on the expansion of Instacart's program.

The expansion comes amid an increase in federal spending on the nation’s food stamp program.

Data released by the USDA in January revealed that the federal government spent approximately $90 billion on food stamps, which marked a significant increase from the previous year’s $60 billion spent.