EBT, SNAP users now eligible for Safeway grocery delivery and pickup

AP Photo, David Zalubowski

KENNEWICK, Wash. – Sara Osborne with Safeway and Albertsons said they’ve been looking for ways to ease food insecurities in recent years.

“We believe everybody should be able to shop for themselves and make their own choices about how to feed themselves and their families and how do we provide greater access?” Sara, the Director of External Affairs, asked.

Then, the pandemic hit and sped up their plans.

“We really want our stores to be able to nourish every single person in our communities and not everyone has access all the time to buy enough to keep meals on the table for every meal,” she said.

They found more people using SNAP or EBT assistance from the government were more likely to have food insecurities due to mobility issues. Sara said perhaps it wasn’t feasible for them to risk leaving the house, but those benefits couldn’t use their cards on the online ordering interfaces.

“So our IT teams were madly working on really developing that program so people could actually use their snap card online and get groceries delivered to their home,” she explained.

Sara said there was a workaround for EBT and SNAP users who wanted to utilize Safeway’s pickup, but it required extra devices. Recently, Safeway and other grocery stores owned by Albertsons Companies made it so people on SNAP or using EBT, can order groceries for pickup or delivery with ease.

“If you’re able to use SNAP online it really reduces the anxiety of knowing you have enough benefits to cover what you’re purchasing and really kind of have the time to navigate and budget and see what might be best for them and their family that month. Not worried about walking or public transportation and just having a consistent schedule when they know food will be delivered to them is really helpful,” she said.

Sara added they also doubled the incentive for buying produce; in partnership with the DOH, when people use their benefits to purchase fresh fruits or vegetables, they’ll receive a $10 produce voucher for Safeway.

“Just having the produce vouchers, they are only good for produce they will certainly buy the produce and they find that they love the produce; it’s not as if they didn’t want to eat it, it didn’t fit in their budget,” she explained.

Sara said they hope this program will not only help food insecurities in communities, but also encourage people to purchase nourishing foods and learn how to stretch their benefits, to get the best food possible.

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