ImpactAlpha, August 11 – About 42 million Americans receive help paying for groceries through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as “food stamps.” The average monthly SNAP benefit per person is about $175. But not many grocery stores accept SNAP benefits online.
“Many SNAP recipients are homebound, lack transportation, or live in a food desert without easy access to grocery stores,” says the team at tech startup Forage.
Forage’s software helps online grocers and platforms such as Shopify accept SNAP electronic benefit transfers, or EBTs.
The company raised a $22 million A round backed by fintech investor Nyca, PayPal Ventures, EO Ventures and Instacart founder Apoorva Mehta.
How it works
Forage helps merchants navigate the complex approval process from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees SNAP. It charges a fee for each transaction, similar to other payment companies.
Transaction and delivery fees loom as an obstacle for low-income individuals and households. Such fees cannot be paid for with SNAP benefits.