Food stamps don’t really exist anymore. Instead, low-income Americans receive SNAP. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program makes it easy for people to buy the groceries that they need using a card that is loaded with money.
There’s just one problem – not all grocery stores accept SNAP. And when inflation is hitting many low-income families hard, people want to have the flexibility to buy where they want. It would allow them to take advantage of sales as well as shop online.
Now, there’s a new third-party payment provider being added to SNAP so that digital payments can be accepted.
Forage, a San Francisco-based website, announced that they were recently recognized by the USDA as an approved provider for SNAP benefits. They are marked as the third EBT TPP (third-party payment processor) that is listed on the USDA website.
The concept of food stamps is long gone. Instead, low-income families who qualify for benefits are given EBT cards – and loaded with funds once a month.
The CEO of Hunger Free America, Joel Berg, said that the news of SNAP being able to accept digital payments is a win-win for not only families but also for retailers.
Berg said in a press release, “Giving more SNAP EBT recipients the ability to order groceries online, especially coupled with home deliveries, should be a much higher priority in the grocery industry. With this new approval, Forage will help more food retailers do well for themselves while doing good for their communities.”
Merchants are already going live on Forage so that families have more options. The first is a California grocer that is family-owned named Gong’s Market. They can use the Forage app for Shopify so that they can finally start accepting EBT payments. It allows them to gain more business while giving families another place to shop and find deals.
Now that Forage allows grocers to accept EBT payments online, grocers can tap into a $200 billion market. Additionally, it allows 42 million Americans to use their food benefits online.
Considering that more and more stores, both online and locally, depend on e-commerce sites, SNAP isn’t always something that can be used. The connection with Forage for online payments helps to address many of the technical challenges that had been barriers in the past.
As SNAP users are able to take their benefits online, it opens up all sorts of possibilities. Amazon, Walmart curbside – and the list goes on and on. Additionally, SNAP can be used at farmer’s markets and more.
It’s important to remember that SNAP is about nutrition. So, while families can use their benefits at the local Burger King, it’s much better to use them on fresh produce and other products.
As inflation continues to be at a 40-year-high, however, it’s important that families gain access to as many food suppliers as possible. Making those benefits reach as far as possible can be the difference between kids being fed a nutritious meal and going hungry.
The benefits are out there – and as the liberals complain that there isn’t enough being done to feed the hungry and take care of low-income families, SNAP is out there proving them all wrong. It’s all about making the most out of the benefits that are being given.
Now if only we could do something about SNAP and other welfare programs being generational. Shouldn’t there be a limit on hand-outs before people are forced to actually go into the workplace and help themselves?