SEATTLE — Safeway is on a mission to make it easier for people receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to access healthy food online.
The grocery store chain is piloting a new program allowing customers who receive SNAP benefits to shop, pay, and schedule curbside pickup times online or through the Safeway mobile app.
According to Safeway, the program will provide equity to the one in eight people in Washington facing food insecurity.
"We know that for health reasons, for convenience reasons, for child care reasons people have needed to have options that allow them to shop more safely and more conveniently," said Claire Lane, director of the Anti-Hunger and Nutrition Coalition in Washington.
While the technology for debit or credit card use is widely used for online grocery shopping, it wasn't set up to provide customers with the option of using EBT cards.
Lane said security issues for EBT cards were complicated and took years of working with lawmakers to keep people's information safe and private while getting them the benefits they need.
As part of the program, customers can also choose food items that fit their dietary needs and cultural preferences.
"We know hunger rates affect families of color disproportionately. We know that families with kids are among the most likely to be food insecure right now. And this is why we know SNAP matters," said Lane.
The pilot program started at over a dozen Safeway stores Monday. The program is expected to launch statewide in January. Click here for more information.
The Washington Safeway locations participating in the pilot program are listed below by city: