Forage Enables Food Hub to Accept SNAP EBT Payments Online

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Essex, New York (January 11, 2023)Forage, a payments processor that makes it easier for grocers to accept EBT (SNAP and cash) payments online, has helped Essex, N.Y.-based The Hub on the Hill become the first community food hub in the United States to accept SNAP EBT payments online.

Food hubs connect local farms and producers with community members to ensure that people have access to high-quality local food. The cost is often subsidized by local nonprofits. The Hub on the Hill covers more than 2,100 miles each week, delivering farm-fresh local food to the doorsteps of individuals, retailers and institutions, including schools, from the Canadian border to New York City.

“The Hub is very focused on increasing food access and building a regional food system in northern New York, and already has an active e-commerce presence,” noted Jori Wekin, co-founder of The Hub on the Hill. “We wanted to extend that to our customers receiving SNAP EBT benefits. Navigating the USDA approval process to accept EBT online would have been difficult without the help of Forage, which guided us through preparation and testing. The Hub’s ability to accept SNAP EBT online will make an enormous difference for the thousands of customers we serve, many of whom rely on government programs to purchase food.”

“Forage’s mission is to increase access to food by enabling consumers to use their government benefits online, and our work with The Hub on the Hill is a testament to that mission,” said Ofek Lavian, co-founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Forage. “We’re proud to be partnering with the first food hub in the nation to accept EBT payments online, giving food-insecure New Yorkers the ability to get high-quality, affordable and locally grown food delivered directly to their doorstep.”

One in eight Americans receives government assistance to buy groceries, and many SNAP recipients are homebound, lack transportation or live in food deserts. While more than 250,000 brick-and-mortar locations accept SNAP benefits via EBT in-store, only a tiny number have been approved for online EBT, and even fewer of those are small stores or focused on providing local foods.
Forage collaborated closely with several partners on the project: e-commerce and marketing platform Grocerist and nonprofit organization AdkAction provided technology and e-commerce support, with funding support from New York Health Foundation.

“New York is one of the first states to see expansion of the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot beyond chain stores,” noted David Sandman, Ph.D., president and CEO of New York-based New York Health Foundation. “Food-insecure and homebound New Yorkers now have access to an easier, more dignified path to purchase healthy and affordable food.”


About Forage

Forage is a mission-driven payments company that is helping merchants accept government benefits through a single, unified API. Today, over 42 million Americans receive government assistance (ex: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) to buy groceries. Starting with enabling EBT SNAP online, Forage builds the financial infrastructure empowering merchants of all shapes and sizes to serve these shoppers online.

About Hub on the Hill

Supporting local food since 2015, Hub on the Hill has expanded to offer a variety of services to area growers and producers, including delivery, commercial kitchen rentals, co-packing services, and frozen, cold and dry storage capacity to help extend the Northeast region's short growing season. Building a distribution network that spans from the Canadian border to New York City, Hub on the Hill has expanded markets for farmers by delivering direct to consumers, restaurants, grocers, and institutions, now covering over 2,100 miles each week delivering local food up and down the I-87 corridor and reaching many food desert communities in our rural region.

About Grocerist

Grocerist makes e-commerce profitable for grocers, with the first and only grocery-specific e-commerce solution built on Shopify, the world’s largest e-commerce platform. Grocerist gives merchants an e-commerce store at their own URL with all the functionality offered by their largest competitors, pick/pack technology that reduces store operating costs, a national delivery partner, control over pickup/delivery fees, low credit-card processing fees, white-glove guidance through the online SNAP application, and ongoing email, search and social media marketing support. Grocerist’s mission is to help the independent grocer use online to drive profit - both online and in-store. Learn more at

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