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Forage and Uber Eats Partner on SNAP EBT Grocery Delivery

grocery, delivery

Forage and Uber Eats have partnered to offer online purchasing and delivery of groceries to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) recipients.

The partnership will offer SNAP EBT grocery delivery to eligible grocery partners on the Uber Eats platform across the United States, the companies said in a Friday (April 19) press release emailed to PYMNTS.

Uber Eats will launch this offering in late 2024, and Forage will become that firm’s SNAP EBT payment processor, according to the release.

“We are excited to partner with Forage to provide our customers the same seamless payments experience they’ve become accustomed to on Uber when using their SNAP benefits,” Karl Hebert, vice president of payments, risk and identity at Uber, said in the release.

This partnership will help serve the 17 million Americans who live in “food deserts,” with limited access to nearby grocery stores, according to the release. Digital food delivery services like Uber Eats are accessible to 90% of those Americans.

To enable the platform’s acceptance of SNAP EBT, the partnership will leverage Forage’s software and dedicated team of in-house experts, who can guide platforms and retailers through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) authorization process, per the release. 

“We know that accepting SNAP benefits online is incredibly important for millions of Americans and are extremely proud that through our partnership, Uber will be able to unlock EBT acceptance for all retailers on their platform and help more Americans put food on their table,” Ofek Lavian, co-founder and CEO of Forage, said in the release.

PYMNTS Intelligence has found that consumers who struggle financially are the ones most likely to shop for groceries exclusively online.

While 7.2% of all consumers shop for groceries exclusively online, 10.4% of those who live paycheck to paycheck with issues paying bills do so, according to “Changes in Grocery Shopping Habits and Perceptions.”

There is an audience for digital food delivery services among SNAP EBT recipients, Lavian told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster in an interview posted in August 2022. Many of these recipients live in areas where the nearest stores do not offer healthy foods, and they are disproportionately likely to have disabilities, making delivery options all the more necessary.

Uber said in September that it would add the ability for SNAP EBT accounts to pay for grocery purchases in 2024.

“With prices of goods on the rise and access to fresh and healthy foods crucial for households, our team has been hard at work building new tools to help you save time and money,” Therese Lim, senior director of product for Uber Eats New Verticals and Uber Direct, said in a Sept. 20 statement announcing these plans.