ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced Monday that people in Illinois residents can now use Electronic Benefit Transfer and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (EBT SNAP) online through Instacart. 

A press release says in a new partnership with ALDI, people will be able to access fresh food and pantry staples from ALDI via Instacart’s same-day delivery and pick-up services via the Instacart online site and mobile app.

Once an Instacart customer profile is created, people can enter their EBT food card information as a form of payment in their profile. Non-food items like taxes, tips, and delivery fees will need to be paid separately.

After filling their online shopping carts, customers can choose grocery delivery or pickup for their order and determine how much of their SNAP benefit they want to allocate to the order.

Online SNAP EBT options initially launched this June in Illinois and included Amazon and Walmart.  The release says IDHS will continue working to encourage even more Illinois retailers to participate. 

Additionally, people can place online orders with any SNAP-authorized retailer and pay at the store when they pick up. 

The release says online EBT capability allows the people to complete the entire transaction digitally and avoid completing the purchase at the retailer location.

“The introduction of Instacart’s EBT SNAP payments comes at a time when food insecurity across the nation continues to be impacted by COVID-19,” the release says.

“The health and wellness of Illinois families is a top priority of my administration and I am pleased to announce this partnership which offers increased options for SNAP recipients to acquire groceries via online pickup or delivery,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that all Illinois families have access to healthy, nutritious options, regardless of their background.”

“We are pleased to see ALDI as the newest retailer option for Illinois residents who use EBT SNAP benefits and have access to healthy, affordable food,” says Grace Hou, IDHS Secretary. “As we continue to navigate the effects of COVID-19, we are working to leverage increased opportunities for Illinois residents to use EBT SNAP payments for online grocery delivery and pick-up services in communities across the state.”

“We applaud the Illinois Department of Human Services for working to include more retailers to the online EBT program,” says Kate Maehr, Executive Director and CEO for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “The addition of ALDI greatly expands the reach of this program that allows Illinois households to purchase groceries online using SNAP benefits.

“This is a critical resource for our most vulnerable neighbors, including those unable to leave their homes. We are excited by this additional step toward more equitable food access in underserved communities, including those on Chicago’s South and West Sides and in the Cook County suburbs.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hurt all communities, but for our most vulnerable populations, it has exacerbated the inequalities that exist when it comes to accessing food,” said Andrew Nodes, Vice President of Retail at Instacart. “By unlocking the use of EBT SNAP benefits for grocery and delivery services at ALDI in Illinois, we’re helping to ensure that Illinoisans who lack transportation, are homebound with disability or illness, or are elderly can access fresh, nutritious food and supplies during the remainder of the pandemic and beyond.

“We’re proud of our partnership with Governor Pritzker, (IDHS) and ALDI on this important initiative.”