Forage Raises $22M to Help Merchants’ Efforts to Accept SNAP Benefits

SNAP benefits

A growing number of organizations are working to make it easier for grocers to accept, and recipients to use, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) payments, which are commonly known as “food stamps.”

One, Forage, has raised a $22 million Series A funding round to speed the development of its solutions that support merchants through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approval process and make it easier for them to accept EBT online.

“This capital will help accelerate Forage’s mission to democratize access to government benefits,” Forage Co-Founder and CEO Ofek Lavian said in an Aug. 8 press release emailed to PYMNTS.

Although 250,000 brick-and-mortar locations accept SNAP benefits via EBT in-store, only a fraction have been approved to do so online, Forage said in the press release.

In addition, the 42 million Americans who receive SNAP benefits often lack easy access to grocery stores or want to avoid in-person shopping due to concerns about COVID-19, the company said in the statement.

“Forage is tackling a critical problem for consumers and merchants as more groceries are bought online,” Tom Brown, partner at Nyca Partners, a FinTech specialist firm that led the funding round, said in the press release. “Nyca is excited to back the incredible team on their mission of making it as easy for eligible merchants to accept EBT as any other form of payment.”

The announcement follows the July 25 announcement that Instacart is expanding its EBT SNAP offering to 10 new states.

Read more: Instacart Expands EBT SNAP Offerings

The Instacart moves lets EBT SNAP users purchase groceries via the Instacart App and retailers’ Instacart Platform-powered eCommerce sites.

Instacart said its move will benefit almost 30 million Americans dealing with food insecurity, giving them access to in-store shopping as well as curbside pick-up and delivery orders.

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