(BPT) – Heading into the spending-heavy summer holiday season, and in a year where inflation concerns are high, affording food is harder than ever before. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of food items has risen by 7.7% over the past 12 months. While this affects everyone, it is especially difficult for those who have trouble affording and accessing basic necessities.
Many people who struggle with food insecurity also live in food deserts. In these areas, there is little to no access to healthy food options, especially fresh fruits and vegetables. For the millions of Americans relying on SNAP/EBT (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Electronic Benefit Transfer), especially those living in food deserts, accessing nearby affordable fresh food that also accepts SNAP/EBT as a payment method can be a challenge.
While there’s no silver bullet to fixing food insecurity and access issues, companies like DoorDash are introducing products and partnerships to improve food access for all.
Expanding access to affordable food
Since its inception, DoorDash has been on a mission to grow and empower local economies and expand food access through innovative, affordable offerings. As part of this commitment, DoorDash has partnered with and will now accept SNAP/EBT payments on the platform with top grocers, including ALDI, Albertsons, Safeway, Meijer and participating 7-Eleven® stores, for same-day online delivery from nearly 4,100 grocery and convenience locations nationwide.
Facilitating local delivery can have a transformational impact on food access. The ability to use SNAP/EBT payments to power food delivery can profoundly impact the high rates of food insecurity by connecting families and communities to essential items. Combined, these two initiatives can help SNAP/EBT recipients easily access thousands of grocery and convenience stores at affordable prices on the DoorDash platform.
Why delivery and why now?
More than 2.3 million people live in USDA-defined food deserts and over 4.3 million people live in communities where over 1 in 10 households receive SNAP/EBT benefits, according to data compiled by DoorDash.* With so many people struggling to afford food or even find places to buy food, same-day grocery food delivery could make a huge difference.
‘The rise of on-demand delivery has had a transformational impact on food access. This is especially true for vulnerable populations, including seniors, people living in food deserts, and those facing disability or transportation barriers,’ said Fuad Hannon, VP of New Verticals at DoorDash. ‘We’re proud to partner with these merchants to offer SNAP recipients access to quality groceries conveniently through our platform. Through the power of local delivery, enabling SNAP/EBT payments can make a profound impact on reducing food insecurity and connecting people to groceries and the essential items they need.’
‘The Alliance to End Hunger is happy to see DoorDash expand its offerings with the inclusion of SNAP recipients. A key issue to ensure food security across the country is improved access, and DoorDash is taking a positive and commonsense step in today’s tech-friendly world,’ said Eric Mitchell, Executive Director, Alliance to End Hunger, an organization working on the plans and ways to end hunger in America and the rest of the world.
Enabling SNAP recipients to order groceries through DoorDash can help families meet childcare and work obligations, relieve seniors of the potential stress of going to the grocery store and support people with disabilities who face mobility issues to access nutritious food efficiently and affordably with same-day delivery.
Making food delivery affordable
To make food delivery more accessible and budget friendly, DoorDash is offering SNAP/EBT recipients 2 free months of DashPass, DoorDash’s membership program that offers members $0 delivery fees on eligible orders that meet minimum subtotals from thousands of restaurants, grocery, and convenience stores nationwide.**
With DashPass, customers using SNAP/EBT benefits can save even more time and money on fresh groceries, favorite meals and more.
While there is still a long way to go before everyone can afford and access healthy food, DoorDash’s initiative is a step in the right direction. This announcement comes as DoorDash celebrates its 10th anniversary with its biggest platform updates in a decade. To learn more about DoorDash and SNAP/EBT, please visit doordash.com.
*Based on census tract population data in the DoorDash service area. DoorDash service areas can map to multiple census tracts. DoorDash defines a ‘food desert’ using the following definition provided by the USDA in the Food Access Research Atlas 2019: ‘Low-income census tracts where a significant number (at least 500 people) or share (at least 33 percent) of the population is greater than 1 mile from the nearest supermarket, supercenter, or large grocery store for an urban area or greater than 10 miles for a rural area.’
** TERMS & CONDITIONS
Offer valid for new Dashpass subscribers only. Must add a verified SNAP/EBT card as a Saved Payment Method on DoorDash. Must redeem offer no later than 12/31/23. Dashpass benefits available for 2 months from date of offer redemption. DashPass benefits apply only to eligible orders that meet the minimum subtotal listed on DoorDash for each participating merchant. Other fees, taxes, and gratuity still apply. Dashpass terms (including how to cancel) here.