US-based online grocery platform Instacart has expanded its Electronic Benefits Transfer and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (EBT SNAP) online payment programme.

The programme has been expanded to more than 40 retailers across more than 5,600 stores in the US.

New partners that are accepting EBT SNAP payments include Fairplay Foods, Food 4 Less California, and Rancho San Miguel, Harps, Little Giant Farmer’s Market and Earthfare.

As well as partnering with traditional grocers, Instacart is now enabling several retailers to accept payments through the EBT SNAP system.

EBT SNAP convenience delivery is available from several Ahold Delhaize USA banners, including Food Lion Now, Giant Instant Delivery, Giant Food Convenience, Hannaford Now, Martin’s Instant Delivery and Stop & Shop Express.

Instacart also plans to offer free delivery and pickup services for customers using a valid EBT SNAP card linked with their Instacart account on all orders placed through the service from next month until the end of March.

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The EBT SNAP service was originally launched last November in partnership with multinational retailer Aldi.

Instacart CEO Fidji Simo said: “We believe grocery delivery and pickup shouldn’t be a luxury for some – they should be accessible to everyone.

“We’re proud of the progress we’ve made since launching EBT SNAP payments, and are grateful to our retail and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) partners for helping us bridge the food accessibility gap for millions of Americans.

“Looking ahead, we’re committed to expanding our EBT SNAP offering and investing in additional programmes that offer consumers more accessible, affordable and nutritious ways to feed their families.”

In March last year, Instacart introduced a new mobile payment feature, Instacart Mobile Checkout, for shoppers.

Launched in partnership with card issuing platform Marqeta, the service allows shoppers to pay at the checkout using a mobile app.