Participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP, can pay in store at most major grocery chains — including "specialty" grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's — using electronic benefits transfer cards. But, until last year, EBT wasn't a widely available payment option online. Now, through the expedited expansion of an online purchasing pilot program run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service, households receiving SNAP benefits in 47 states and the District of Columbia can use EBT to pay for grocery pickup and/or delivery from select retailers (though not for associated service fees).
The list of participating states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Alaska, Louisiana, and Montana are the only states that have not enrolled in the pilot.
On top of the many SNAP policy and procedure updates made in light of the ongoing health crisis, families with children who normally would receive free or reduced-price school lunches became eligible for special pandemic EBT benefits during school closures. The latest American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 extends P-EBT benefits through the summer. Check your local Department of Human Services to find out more about current relief initiatives, eligibility, and payout amounts in your area. (The nonprofit Food Research and Action Center has an interactive map where you can quickly search for state-specific benefit information.)
Below, we've rounded up the grocery stores that accept EBT online. While the program has been slow to expand beyond a couple of major retailers, many more grocery stores intend to make online ordering available to SNAP recipients. We'll continue to update this story as more retailers participate and as active stores expand their EBT pickup and delivery payment policies. Steps are being taken to expand online purchasing options to WIC recipients, as well.
Related: Where Has SNAP Use Increased the Most Amid the Pandemic?
Does Instacart take EBT?
Instacart, the popular grocery delivery service, began introducing new payment options for SNAP EBT beneficiaries in December. Participating retailers include Aldi, Food Lion, and Publix, along with some smaller chains. Instacart has pledged to expand the EBT online payment option to more states and retailers in the near future.
When ordering with EBT on Instacart, customers must use a credit or debit card for non-eligible costs, including delivery and service fees, taxes, tips, and bottle deposit fees in some states. (Instacart offers an Instacart Express membership for $99 annually or $9.99 monthly that provides free delivery on all orders over $35, along with other perks.) Customers over 60 who may be new to online grocery shopping can take advantage of Instacart's Senior Support Service, which offers help with everything from setting up an account to placing an order.
Through Sept. 16, shoppers paying for Instacart orders with EBT SNAP at select retailers can get free delivery or pickup on their first three orders of $35 or more.
Walmart started rolling out the option to pay for grocery pickup with EBT as early as 2017. EBT payments can be made online at most locations in the states approved for the SNAP online purchasing pilot, although the service has not yet been implemented in the District of Columbia. At eligible local stores, users signing in to their online accounts, or shopping via app, can save EBT card information under "Payment Methods." Approved delivery locations are less widespread than access to grocery pickup, however, and in a handful of states, users ordering groceries online still must swipe their EBT cards at pickup to finalize payment.
(If you prefer to buy groceries online from big-box competitor Target, you're out of luck — Target does not accept EBT for Drive Up orders, nor does its same-day delivery service, Shipt.)
On Amazon, SNAP recipients can order SNAP-approved food items online and pay with EBT in the District of Columbia and participating states (except Hawaii). EBT cardholders can use the Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service without paying for Prime membership, which is usually required, and will also have access to many Whole Foods products through Amazon Pantry, Amazon Grocery, and Amazon Fresh. Qualifying beneficiaries with an EBT or Medicaid card who wish to sign up for Amazon Prime membership are eligible for a 50% discount.
Although rapidly expanding discount grocer Aldi does not currently have stores in Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming, if you live in the District of Columbia or any of the other states covered by the USDA's pilot program, you can shop online for EBT SNAP-eligible purchases from Aldi. Instacart accepts EBT for same-day delivery and pickup options at the store. Aldi shoppers can place online orders via Instacart and enter EBT card information at checkout for items covered under SNAP.
BJ's Wholesale Club
BJ's is the first of the major warehouse clubs to accept EBT for online grocery orders (Costco and Sam's Club have not announced plans to follow suit, nor has online wholesale mart Boxed). BJ's members in Florida, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire recently became eligible to use EBT cards to order on BJs.com for in-club or contactless curbside pickup. The company plans to make the the pickup option available in more states participating in the SNAP online purchasing pilot and to offer EBT grocery delivery, as well, in the coming months.
Food Lion was the second retailer to partner with Instacart for EBT grocery delivery. Instacart accepts EBT payment for SNAP-eligible items from Food Lion in nine states: Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. SNAP beneficiaries who don't want to pay more out of pocket to have groceries delivered can opt to pick up Instacart orders at the store.
Soon after the pandemic lockdowns began last April, Kroger announced that it would add a SNAP EBT payment option for grocery pickup at its stores. The service is offered at all locations where pickup is available and recently expanded to Kroger-owned Mariano's stores, as well.
Related: 18 Secrets for Shopping at Kroger
Publix is the largest employee-owned company in the United States, with nearly 1,200 supermarkets in the Southeast. In locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, shoppers can now use EBT on Instacart to order their groceries online. As with the other markets where Instacart takes EBT for grocery delivery and curbside pickup, if you don't find EBT SNAP as a payment option when attempting to order from your local Publix, keep checking back — the coverage areas and list of participating stores continue to expand.
Shoppers paying with SNAP EBT can now order groceries for pickup at a number of Safeway locations in states including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington, as well as a single store in the District of Columbia. Safeway's website (see "How do I pay for my order?") also suggests that Arizona EBT users with disabilities may call customer support for assistance with online grocery delivery: (877) 505-4040. Albertsons shoppers using EBT online are covered for pickup orders at locations in California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. EBT can also be used for pickup at select Vons stores in Southern California and Nevada.
ShopRite accepts EBT for SNAP purchases online at select stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, although some locations may allow EBT payment only for pickup orders. Check your local ShopRite store to see which services are available.
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Popular Midwestern grocery chain Hy-Vee was also accepted into the USDA pilot program. Although it was slower to roll out the service, Hy-Vee is now taking EBT payments for grocery pickup at about 250 of its stores, including Dollar Fresh and Hy-Vee Drugstore locations. Keep an eye on its customer support pages for additional options.
Texans shopping at H-E-B can currently use SNAP EBT payments for curbside pickup at all locations that offer the service. The online ordering system accepts split payments for eligible and non-eligible items, and discounts from manufacturers' coupons are credited back to EBT accounts when orders are fulfilled.
Smaller Chains and Independents
- A&J Market in Stevenson, Washington, introduced curbside pickup for EBT users on June 25. Local seniors are also eligible for free grocery delivery from the store through Skamania County Senior Services.
- Brookshire's Food & Pharmacy is offering curbside pickup or delivery with Instacart for Texas customers paying with an EBT card online.
- Fresh by Brookshire's and Super 1 Foods in Louisiana and Texas are accepting EBT payment for curbside pickup orders. Instacart delivers to Fresh by Brookshire's customers in Tyler, Texas, and to Super 1 Foods shoppers in select areas in Texas and Arkansas. Enter your ZIP code to see if you're eligible.
- Spring Market was recently approved for the SNAP online purchasing pilot program. Check local Texas locations and Instacart to see if grocery delivery is available from your store.
- The Cameron Market, Sliced Bread Market, and Sweet Springs Market — three Missouri stores managed by the same family-owned and -operated parent company, W.H. Koch Co. — are now accepting EBT payment for pickup and delivery of groceries ordered online.
- Carli C's IGA customers can now shop online with EBT at the store's 25 locations in the Raleigh-Fayetteville region of North Carolina.
- City Market food stores just introduced the option of curbside pickup using EBT at all three Arkansas locations.
- County Market in Illinois is accepting EBT for pickup and delivery using Instacart.
- Fairplay Foods was recently approved for the SNAP online purchasing pilot program. Check local Illinois stores and Instacart for details on available services.
- FireLake Discount Foods in Shawnee, Oklahoma, is another recent addition to the list of retailers accepted to the SNAP online purchasing program. At present, it's the only local FireLake store offering curbside pickup.
- FreshDirect delivers for free to SNAP beneficiaries in select ZIP codes in the Bronx, New York.
- The Fresh Grocer is accepting EBT for grocery pickup and delivery (where available) at its seven New Jersey and Pennsylvania locations.
- Giant Eagle is accepting EBT online payment for curbside orders only (must swipe card at pickup) at various locations in Ohio (Cleveland and Columbus) and Pennsylvania (Erie and Pittsburgh). Also check West Virginia locations for EBT purchasing options.
- Giant Food is offering both grocery pickup and delivery to customers paying online with EBT. At more than 150 locations in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, customers have the option of using either in-house Giant services to complete online orders or having groceries delivered through Instacart (Maryland only).
- Hannaford Supermarkets in Maine will accept EBT for curbside orders; payments must be processed at the store upon pickup. For home deliveries with EBT, Instacart has now partnered with Hannaford.
- Hays Supermarket is accepting EBT payment for pickup orders in Caruthersville, Missouri, and five Arkansas locations: Blythesville, Paragould Plaza, Walnut Ridge, West Helena, and Wynne. Delivery is available at the Paragould Plaza store only.
- H.G. Hill Food Store customers in Tennessee can pay online with EBT for curbside pickup at both locations.
- Homeland Food Stores, United Supermarkets, and Cash Saver, all members of the Homeland Stores chain, will now offer Oklahoma shoppers paying with EBT home delivery and grocery pickup via Instacart. Only certain locations offer the option, so check your ZIP code to see if the service is available to you.
- New Pioneer Food Co-op is accepting EBT payment for curbside pickup orders at all three Iowa locations.
- Piggly Wiggly (HAC) locations in Georgia are now offering grocery delivery services to EBT users through Instacart. One other location, in Deatsville, Alabama, has also been approved to accept online purchases with EBT.
- Price Chopper is accepting EBT for pickup and delivery via Instacart at stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. The same goes for its sibling chains:
- Reasor's has made curbside pickup and delivery available to EBT cardholders at 16 of its Northern Oklahoma locations (delivery not available in Langley).
- Save Mart customers in California and Nevada can order pickup and delivery through Instacart. The same is true for other California chains owned by the same company:
- Sooner Foods is now accepting EBT payment for curbside pickup at its three Oklahoma stores.
- St. Marys Galaxy Food Center customers in St. Marys, West Virginia, can pay online with EBT for curbside pickup.
- Strack & Van Til in Indiana is accepting EBT for pickup and delivery using Instacart.
- Superlo Foods is accepting EBT online at nine locations: eight in Memphis, Tennessee, and one in Southaven, Mississippi (Stepherson's).
- Supermercados El Güero is now accepting EBT payment for pickup orders at its three Illinois locations.
- Town & Country Market was recently approved for the SNAP online purchasing pilot program. Check local Indiana stores and Instacart for details on services available.
- Woodman's Markets in Wisconsin do not currently offer in-house pickup or delivery services for customers paying with EBT online, but SNAP beneficiaries can now use Instacart to have store orders delivered.
- Woods Supermarket is accepting EBT online grocery payment at participating locations in Missouri. Both pickup and delivery options are available at some stores.
- Wright's Market in Opelika, Alabama, is accepting EBT payment for pickup and delivery.