News | August 15, 2022

Tech Startup Forage Receives USDA Approval For SNAP EBT Payment Solution, Making It Easier For Grocers To Accept Food Stamps Online

Forage is one of just three USDA-approved vendors; first Forage merchant went live on platform earlier this month

San Francisco, CA (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) - Forage, a payments processor that makes it easier for grocers to accept SNAP EBT (previously known as “food stamps”) payments online, announced today that it is now officially recognized by the USDA as an approved Third-Party Payments (TPP) provider for online SNAP EBT. Forage is one of only three online EBT TPPs on the USDA website (see first dropdown). This news comes on the heels of Forage’s Aug. 8 announcement that it has raised $22M in funding from Nyca Partners, PayPal Ventures, and Instacart’s founder.

The USDA launched its Online Purchasing Pilot for SNAP EBT in 2016, asking for retail volunteers. After three years of planning, development and testing, the first pilot retailers went live with online EBT in April of 2019. With the onset of the pandemic in 2020, the USDA quickly expanded the pilot from the original eight retailers, allowing any SNAP-authorized retailer to apply. Forage began working with USDA in 2021 and is the only online EBT TPP to offer project management, documentation support and technical assistance to its merchant and platform partners.

“This news is a huge win-win for both retailers and consumers,” said national anti-hunger leader Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, a non-profit direct service and advocacy organization. “Giving more SNAP EBT recipients the ability to order groceries online, especially coupled with home deliveries, should be a much higher priority in the grocery industry. With this new approval, Forage will help more food retailers do well for themselves while doing good for their communities.”

Forage successfully launched its first merchant earlier this month. Forage CEO Ofek Lavian said, “Forage has been working towards USDA certification for months, and we’re thrilled to be one of only three companies to date that have met this high bar. Our focus now is on ensuring the success of our merchant partners as they go live with online EBT acceptance in the coming weeks.”

One in eight Americans receive government assistance to buy groceries. While more than 250,000 brick & mortar locations accept SNAP benefits via EBT in-store, only a fraction have been approved for online EBT. Many SNAP recipients are homebound, lack transportation, or live in a food desert without easy access to grocery stores; many others want to avoid in-person shopping due to concerns about COVID. While many Americans were able to shift to online grocery shopping during the pandemic, SNAP recipients were not afforded this safety and convenience because they are effectively unable to use their benefits online.

Forage has an in-house team of EBT and payments experts, including former Instacart and Freshop employees. In addition to its stand-alone EBT solution, Forage developed and recently launched the first Shopify app that offers online EBT payment processing to Shopify’s ecosystem of merchants. The company is already working with dozens of well-known grocers to help them accelerate their path to accepting SNAP EBT online.

The first merchant to go live on the Forage platform was Gong’s Market, a family-owned grocer based in California. Gong’s Market leveraged the Forage app for Shopify, and Forage worked closely with Shopify Plus partner Grocerist on the project. Grocerist offers the first and only solution fully customized for grocers on Shopify, the world’s largest e-commerce platform.

To learn more about ending hunger in America, visit To learn more about accepting SNAP EBT online, visit

About Forage
Forage is a payments processor that makes it easier for grocers to accept SNAP EBT (food stamps) payments online, giving merchants access to a $200B market, and enabling the 42M Americans receiving benefits to spend them online. With its in-house team of payments and EBT experts and software platform, Forage guides merchants through the USDA application process and tech integration for merchants, taking most of the burden off retailers. Forage’s founders created the company to democratize access to government benefits and help underserved Americans more easily access their benefits online. Forage works with multiple grocers and platforms such as Shopify and Flashfood to accept SNAP EBT payments online. For more information visit

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Source: Forage