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FarmboxRx becomes first fresh grocery delivery to accept SNAP/EBT benefits

‘Food as Medicine’ innovator FarmboxRX breaks down barriers, helps connect low-income communities and others in need with fresh, healthy produce.

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–FarmboxRx, a first-of-its-kind nutrition program pioneering the ‘Food as Medicine’ movement within healthcare, announced it will be the first and only national online grocer to accept SNAP/EBT benefits.

The pilot program will enable the Medicare/Medicaid population that FarmboxRx services to supplement the healthy food benefits provided through their health plan with SNAP dollars. With the ability to extend their nutrition benefit via EBT cards, FarmboxRx is one step further in their mission to make healthy foods accessible to all. This new program will enable members to keep healthy foods stocked in their homes all month long, regardless of financial or physical access limitations. With nearly 70% of all Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries citing food insecurity as their primary social concern, FarmboxRx delivers a sustainable solution that improves health outcomes through refined eating habits.

Food and nutrition insecurity impacts low-income households across America. As it stands, the USDA does not widely accept SNAP/EBT as an online form of payment, limiting households relying on government assistance to shop at nearby brick and mortar locations. For individuals with limited mobility or without reliable transportation, that could mean grocery shopping at truck stops, gas stations, or convenience stores. In low-income communities, this becomes a serious health concern. Healthy foods are more expensive than calorie-dense options and since there are no regulations controlling the disproportionate ratio of fast-food offerings over fresh-produce grocers in low-income areas, many households relying on government assistance don’t have the opportunity to access fresh fruits and vegetables.

“By only allowing EBT cards to be used at brick-and-mortar retail locations, people who live in areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food don’t even have the option to eat healthier from a physical or financial standpoint,” said Ashley Tyrner, CEO and founder of FarmboxRx. “Lower-income and minority communities are disproportionately affected by diet-related disease. While many of these illnesses can be prevented or treated through diet and lifestyle changes, the way the healthcare system operates today focuses on treating patients after they reach a chronic state with pharmaceuticals. Adding FarmboxRx to the SNAP pilot and enabling members to purchase healthy foods online will open the door to those who otherwise didn’t have access to nutritious foods before, and will help break the chronic disease cycle.”

Expanding SNAP benefits to cover food delivery could significantly improve the health status of many Americans, as many common, diet-related health conditions – such as obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease – can be improved through a healthier diet. FarmboxRx is committed to reshaping nutrition education and food access, changing the way the healthcare system approaches member wellness and disease prevention through their ‘Food as Medicine’ initiative and interactive nutrition education platform.

Farmbox Direct, the first company to successfully ship fresh produce to homes across the country, launched FarmboxRx in January 2020. FarmboxRx is a total wellness platform that partners with health insurers across the country to improve member health outcomes using Food as Medicine. Recently approved by the USDA as the only national fresh grocery retailer to accept SNAP/EBT as a form of online payment, FarmboxRx continues to address the socio-economic, geographic, and health barriers that prevent people from taking control of their health.

Watch FarmboxRx CEO and founder, Ashley Tyrner, officially announce the SNAP/EBT pilot program here.

*Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is a government program providing supplemental nutrition benefits to households in need as a form of payment.

About FarmboxRx

Since 2019 FarmboxRx has been disrupting the healthcare world. As an extension of the Farmbox Direct mission, FarmboxRx delivers Food as Medicine to America’s most at-risk populations through Medicaid and Medicare programs. FarmboxRx is a first-of-its-kind social determinants (SDoH) of health program that makes healthy eating possible for at-risk populations, free-of-charge, through health insurance initiatives. FarmboxRx was launched to combat barriers to members’ most prominent health-related social need – food; and make healthy eating accessible to all. FarmboxRx is now partnered with 50+ national healthcare plans and is expected to grow significantly over the next few years.