Chicago, Illinois (August 23, 2023) – The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is vital for many Americans, delivering funds to nearly 42 million people to buy necessary foods and move toward self-sufficiency. Independent retailers are a crucial part of this successful public-private partnership, as they represent 33% of all grocery sales.
And while many independent grocers accept SNAP in stores, it has been difficult to successfully accept SNAP payments online due to the financial and technical challenges they encounter in shifting to eCommerce. This became especially apparent early in the pandemic, which sent many shoppers online when only eight states and four retailers (Wright’s Market, ShopRite, Amazon, and Walmart) were part of a SNAP online purchasing pilot program that launched in 2019.
Understanding that challenges still exist for independents wanting to accept SNAP online, Ross spoke with Forage CEO and Co-founder Ofek Lavian about the complexities and nuances of bringing SNAP EBT and WIC online and enabling POS systems to accept these benefits through digital payments. Forage is a mission-driven payments company that helps enable EBT SNAP payments online and one of only three Third-Party Processor (TPP) certified by the USDA for secure PIN-entry.
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.
The Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) was founded in 1926 to bring family owned, local grocery stores together under the IGA brand. Nearly a century later, the support of a nationally known brand is still giving IGA grocers the ability to better compete, while at the same time, allowing them to stay true to who they are—hometown store owners in a position to meet the needs of their unique communities. Today, communities across the U.S. are being served by second, third and even fourth generation local IGA grocers.