Due to rising inflation, the end of pandemic relief programs, and other factors, food insecurity in America is growing.
DoorDash is one of many grocery delivery services that now accepts online SNAP EBT card payments to help improve food access.
Learn more about DoorDash—and how you can use your SNAP EBT card to purchase groceries online.
For many Americans, online grocery shopping and delivery is a luxury—a convenient service that saves time in their busy schedule. But for older adults who can’t easily access grocery stores, food delivery can be a lifeline.
“Housebound seniors, people who might be immunocompromised and may come with different mobility challenges and needs—they may live in places that are far distant from the grocery store,” Ellen Vollinger, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) director at the Food Research and Action Center, told Marketplace.
Food insecurity—a problem affecting nearly a quarter of Americans—has grown with rising inflation and the end of temporary SNAP benefit increases put in place during the pandemic. To improve food access for millions of people, many food retailers and delivery service platforms are now combining online grocery shopping and delivery with SNAP purchasing power.
SNAP is the largest public food assistance program in the nation, helping low-income older adults buy the fresh food they need to stay healthy and age well. In April 2023, nearly 3.7 million SNAP households shopped online, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture—a jump from March 2020, when only 35,000 SNAP households did their shopping online.
DoorDash is the latest app-based delivery service to welcome SNAP payments. The company joins others like Amazon, FarmboxRx, Instacart, Target, and Walmart who already allow SNAP recipients to use their EBT card online to pay for grocery delivery and pickup. Online purchasing with SNAP benefits is now available in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
In a company press release, Fuad Hannon, Director of New Verticals at DoorDash, explained: “The rise of on-demand grocery delivery has had a transformational impact on food access. This is especially true for vulnerable populations, including seniors, people living in food deserts, and those facing disability or transportation barriers.”
What is DoorDash?
DoorDash is a popular online food ordering and delivery platform. To use this service, you can download a mobile app (on the App Store or Google Play Store) or visit the DoorDash website and place orders with restaurants and grocery stores. The company works with independent contractors (called “Dashers”) who pick up your order from the site and deliver it straight to your door.
Like with many other delivery services, DoorDash orders come with costs beyond the cost of the food itself. This includes delivery fees, service fees, and fees for small orders and deliveries outside the normal mileage range. Frequent users can get unlimited deliveries with no delivery fee and reduced service fees by signing up for DashPass (DoorDash's subscription service).
DoorDash is currently offering SNAP recipients two free months of DashPass (normally $9.99 per month).
What stores on DoorDash accept EBT?
People enrolled in SNAP can now use their EBT card for SNAP-eligible purchases at the following stores:
- 7-Eleven (select stores)
DoorDash may expand SNAP payments to more stores in the future, so be sure to check their website regularly for updates. According to the DoorDash website, you can also sign up to be notified when SNAP/EBT becomes available at more locations. Just send an email to SNAPEBT@DoorDash.com and include the email address linked to your DoorDash account.
Can I order fast food with my EBT card on DoorDash?
No. SNAP recipients may only purchase SNAP-approved grocery items with their EBT cards.
How do I use EBT card on DoorDash?
To use your SNAP benefits on DoorDash, you need to create a new DoorDash account if you don’t have one. You can then add your EBT card information to your account and keep it safely stored there.
When you’re shopping with the DoorDash app or website, look for stores and products featuring a SNAP label. SNAP-approved items include:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Bread and cereal
- Meat, poultry, and fish
- Condiments, spices, and seasonings
- Dairy products
- Baked goods
- Beverages (water, iced tea, fruit juice, etc.)
When you reach checkout, choose the option “Pay with SNAP” and enter the amount you’d like applied toward your EBT card. You can view your remaining SNAP/EBT account balance by entering your card pin.
It’s possible to purchase SNAP-eligible and non-SNAP-eligible items at the same time. However, items in your cart that are not SNAP-eligible—along with any taxes, DoorDash fees, and any driver tip—must be paid using a different method. You can add another debit or credit card to your DoorDash account as a default option for covering non-SNAP items.
How can I learn more about SNAP benefits?
If you’re finding it difficult to pay for groceries—and even skipping meals to make ends meet—SNAP may be able to help.
For Linda Hodges, 62, SNAP assistance came right when she needed it. Out of work and living on her own, she was having trouble affording food. Linda had heard about SNAP and reached out to one of our Benefits Enrollment Centers (BECs) for help in completing the online application.
After she started receiving her benefits, Linda felt a flood of relief. "Knowing there was some help out there made me feel like I could keep pushing,” she told us. “This is not going to last forever, and at least I can eat."
Want to learn more about SNAP and how to apply? Visit BenefitsCheckUp.org and enter your ZIP code. From there you can get more SNAP info, including how to apply, and you can also browse other money-saving benefits programsin your area.
“The average monthly SNAP benefit for a senior living alone is $105. But nearly half of older adults who qualify for the program do not take advantage of it,” says Brandy Bauer, former Director of the MIPPA Resource Center.
Don’t miss out on benefits that are yours to take. It’s worth seeing if you qualify for SNAP and other programs that can really improve your quality of life,” Bauer said.