Yay for more benefits and new business opportunities for Food Stamps users & markets
In September of 2022, Gov Tom Wolf announced a state-wide expansion of food stamps, now available to 420,000 more Pennsylvanians thanks to new higher income thresholds for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. Today, single households with monthly incomes under $2,266 are eligible, with extra allowances for children, adults 60+, and certain disabilities. You can apply for SNAP benefits online or in person thru your county’s Department of Human Services assistance office, where staff can walk you though the process.
It’s also getting easier to use these benefits, thanks to SNAP’s new online shopping program which lets SNAP recipients use their balance electronically to purchase groceries via computer or smartphone for delivery – just like more than half of all Americans do. This trend isn’t solely about convenience, either, it’s a public health priority in these days when crime, pandemics, and pollution keep more people homebound than ever (and our population is aging, too).
SNAP Online is great news for almost 2 million Pennsylvanians receiving benefits but there’s a catch: for a market to qualify, the USDA requires them to follow very specific website guidelines. This technology isn’t particularly advanced, but it’s certainly a barrier for small business that also unfairly limits purchasing options available to SNAP Online customers. To date, PA lists barely 25 names on their “participating retailers” page, including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Whole Foods… You get the picture.
Unfortunately, many under-resourced Philly neighborhoods are not easily served by corporate retail. Communities of refugees and displaced citizens, especially, tend to depend on their local “Mom & Pop” stores for both nourishment and cultural connection. Indeed, corner store owners are often immigrants, themselves. Who — let’s be honest — could probably use the SNAP Online income more than Jeff Bezos.
Hello?! How has no one at city, state, or federal levels noticed this troubling lack of equity? You’d think there’d be a turn-key platform for grocery providers in urban “food deserts” to get in on SNAP Online’s revenue stream. Helpfully, a growing community-minded company in Philadelphia offers the next best thing/solution, affordably-priced for independent grocers and convenience stores.
“Our goal is to make SNAP Online widely accessible, and put pressure on the USDA for more equitable policies, “ said Dan Jacob, who founded Everyday Web with business partner Mario Saint-Fleur to serve and uplift private enterprise in parts of the city that need it most. To that end, they’ve created simple, budget-friendly packages offering a wide range of digital services – SNAP isn’t all they do, but it’s a great place to start for any business that currently accepts food stamps/EBT.
Studies show that online grocery shoppers spend significantly more than in-store customers, by over 30% in some cases. “I wouldn’t say it’s a goldmine but it’s certainly a huge opportunity, “ Mario told us, “Snap Online is just beginning, too, now’s the perfect time for small business to start building traction with online shoppers.” Everyday Web has all the tools any merchant needs to seamlessly (and economically) set themselves up for success in today’s growing digital marketplace.
Digital marketing that specializes in small, local business, providing high-quality services for all budgets; a one-stop shop with personal service, customizable packages, and one low monthly fee. Interested? Special signups for Grocers & Convenience Store owners, choose English or Spanish/español.
100 S. Juniper Street, 3rd Floor / 215-774-9968 / everydayweb.co
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