California-based Farmstead and Forage have announced a new partnership intended to help combat food insecurity in two ways:
- Farmstead will integrate Forage’s technology into its own e-commerce operations by Q2 2022 so that it can begin to accept EBT/SNAP payments for e-commerce orders – making it the first online-only grocer to do so.
- Farmstead will integrate Forage’s technology into its Grocery OS software, licensed to other grocers to help manage their own e-commerce and delivery operations – making it easier for those grocers to also accept EBT/SNAP payments online.
Farmstead operates a grocery e-commerce business and built and leveraged its own Grocery OS software to become the first online grocer to offer fresh groceries, delivered for free. Farmstead can deliver within a one- to two-hour window in a continuous radius that eliminates food deserts.
Grocery OS, which Farmstead also licenses to other grocers, includes everything a grocer or retailer needs to get a dark-store delivery operation up and running in just two to three weeks, from commercial real estate space to inventory sourcing to delivery.
Forage has developed a third-party payment processing solution that enables grocers to accept EBT payments over the Internet.
Together, Farmstead and Forage can help combat food insecurity by enabling more customers to use EBT and SNAP payments to purchase groceries online when access to brick-and-mortar grocery stores may be limited and other online options come with high fees.
“The online grocery market for EBT users increased by 2,700 percent between March and July 2020, and has remained high,” said Justin Intel, co-founder and CEO at Forage. “Right now, those customers have few choices for grocery e-commerce because not enough grocers accept EBT for online orders or include affordable home delivery. Those grocers who do accept EBT have access to over 40 million Americans who receive SNAP benefits. We’re excited to work with Farmstead to expand the number of grocers accepting EBT online.”
“Addressing food insecurity has been a core part of Farmstead’s mission since day one,” said Pradeep Elankumaran, co-founder and CEO. “Our entire business is based on the premise that grocery delivery should be for the masses and that it’s possible to have fresh, high-quality groceries delivered to your front door at the same prices you’d pay at the store, with no additional fees. Accepting EBT at Farmstead, and integrating EBT into Grocery OS, marks a big milestone for us, and we’re proud to be working with Forage to make this a reality.”
Forage is a third-party processor and pin provider that helps merchants and platforms accept EBT online. Forage works with merchants throughout the processes of USDA application and tech integration, which has reduced time to launch from approximately 18 months to six months. With Forage, merchants gain access to 42 million Americans and a $160 billion EBT spend while also allowing low-income individuals and families to utilize its services.