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USDA to allow Thrive Market to accept SNAP benefits

SNAP benefits
Posted at 5:55 PM, Feb 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-23 18:59:06-05

INDIANAPOLIS —  Before now, SNAP Benefits could not be used to grocery shop online, but one online marketplace is working to change that.

Starting Monday, Thrive Market members can use SNAP Benefits to have their groceries delivered to their doors.

This move comes at a time where USDA numbers show more than 614,000 Hoosiers participate in the SNAP program.

“It is very helpful. Don’t feel ashamed, don’t feel embarrassed,” Natasha Davis said.

For Davis, SNAP Benefits have helped her get by.

“More people than you think use SNAP Benefits. It’s OK to ask for help and to need help,” Davis said. “Like everything has went up, even milk, cereal, bread and basic necessities.”

However, utilizing those benefits can be a challenge if access to food isn’t there.

“I can personally say that access for me is very hard because sometimes I’m not able to get to the grocery store," Davis said.

That stands true for thousands of people in Indianapolis.

City numbers show more than 208,000 Indianapolis residents live in a food desert and do not have adequate access to fresh food.

“Indianapolis is one of the biggest food deserts in the Midwest right now,” Dee Ross said.

Ross is a local activist that works to study this very issue and provide resources for people in need.

“We really need to think of more equitable solutions and innovative ideas to really bridge the gap and remove the barriers to sustainability,” Ross said.

That’s exactly what Thrive Market is working to do. They’re rolling out their grocery store service to people who use SNAP Benefits.

“That’ll be one less thing off your plate that you will have to worry about,” Ross said.

Users can fill their virtual shopping cart, pay with their EBT Card and the groceries are delivered right to their house.

“This is a big deal when it comes to a sense of meeting people where they are,” Ross said.

For people like Davis, it’ll allow her to continue working and get her groceries without having to sacrifice one.

“This will help out a whole lot,” Davis said.

The program will start being accessible to Thrive Market members in Indiana on Monday, Feb. 26.

EBT benefits cannot be used toward shipping costs and delivery fees, but they do offer free shipping on purchase minimums.

Shipping costs include the following:

  • Grocery: Free shipping on orders over $49, or $5.95 shipping if not
  • Frozen: Free shipping on orders over $120, or $19.95 if not
  • Wine: Free shipping on orders over $79, or $13.95 shipping if not

For more information, click here.