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There is nothing like free food, all on the tax payers dime.

Starting today, February 11, 2021 North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) participants can purchase groceries online using their EBT cards through or the Instacart mobile app, providing access to an additional authorized online EBT retailer, Food Lion.

This flexibility will allow North Carolina food stamp participants to buy food online at Food Lion while promoting social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and will help families with transportation and mobility barriers.

Users will be able to access their benefits for online grocery delivery and pickup while shopping through Instacart on the Food Lion storefront. Once items are added to their cart through or the Instacart mobile app, customers will be able to select how much of their benefits they would like to allocate to the order.

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"Adding another retailer where people can use their EBT cards for online purchases continues to make the FNS program more accessible and convenient for families to shop safely, practice social distancing and get the nutrition they need during this pandemic,”

said NCDHHS Deputy Secretary for Human Services Tara Myers.

To help subsidize costs for North Carolina food stamp beneficiaries, Instacart will waive delivery and/or pickup fees on up to the first three EBT FNS orders for each customer with a valid EBT card associated with their Instacart account through March 16, 2021. 

Instacart’s latest EBT expansion to partner with Food Lion serves as North Carolina’s fifth EBT retailer. In May 2020, North Carolina was one of the first 10 states to implement online purchasing for FNS, which will remain permanently in place beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.