Instacart looks to assist SNAP recipients by extending discounts

(Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images) /

Grocery costs, food budgets, and overall expenses continue to be in the forefront of people’s minds. From learning terms like shrinkflation to changing approaches to the weekly dinner menu, the reality is that people have had to adapt to changes in food costs. As SNAP recipients see changes in the benefits, Instacart wants to ease some of the impact by extending discounts to that group.

According to a recent Instacart release, COVID-19 SNAP benefits are set to expire in 32 states. Specifically, the brand said that the change will reduce grocery budgets by “$95 per month for more than 30 million people.” Whether people think about the price for a gallon of milk to the continually debated egg prices, the reality is that $95 can and will have an impact on that monthly food budget.

To help SNAP beneficiaries, Instacart has extended its Instacart+ membership for SNAP recipients. According to the company, “Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) SNAP card to buy groceries on Instacart is eligible for a discounted Instacart+ membership at $4.99/month (50% off) for 12 months.” That discount coupled with online shopping can help ease the reduction in SNAP benefits.

In 2022, University of Kentucky, No Kid Hungry and Instacart found an interesting connection between online grocery shopping and staying on budget. Although many people look at the service as convenient, it is more than just being able to shop from the couch.

According to Courtney Smith, SVP Program Research, Innovation and Impact at No Kid Hungry, “Our research has shown that online grocery shopping can provide very real benefits for families on tight food budgets, including SNAP recipients.” Looking at that statement, the concept is very telling. Although some people might remember decades ago the coupon clippers who would turn scouring the aisles into a grocery game, online shopping can be the way to study prices, plan menus, and avoid overspending. Instead of being captivated by the impulse purchase, the ability to shop in a convenient, cost-effective way has a big benefit.

In addition to the savings benefits, Instacart continues its commitment to assisting local food bands. Through the Instacart’s Community Carts program, the company hopes to help fill more food banks’ shelves with the items that are in need.

As Instacart Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Dani Dudeck said, “Our goal is to put more food on the table for more families.” From the Community Carts program to the Instacart+ discounts for SNAP recipients, it is a multi-faceted approach to help those in need. When everyone can join together to address a community concern, there can be meaningful change. More importantly, when action is coupled with good intention, the progress is measurable.

More information on Community Carts and Instacart+ SNAP discount program can be found online.