Mayor Michelle Wu announced on Feb. 1 that residents with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will now be able to shop online for groceries through Daily Table, which has three stores in the Boston area—Roxbury, Dorchester, and Central Square in Cambridge.
According to the city, Daily Table was provided with $93,000 from the American Rescue Plan to help make this a reality.
At the Roxbury location on Tuesday, Wu was joined by District 7 Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson to make the announcement.
“In a program that began last week, SNAP participants can now use their EBT cards to order groceries online for in-store pickup or delivery via Daily Table’s website or app,” according to a press release from the city. “This service is ideal for those with mobility challenges, or families who prefer not to shop in-person during the ongoing pandemic. The delivery program is aligned with Mayor Wu’s Food Justice Agenda to increase Boston residents’ access to fresh, nutritious, affordable, and culturally relevant food.”
The city also said that Daily Table Is among the first grocery stores in the state that allow people to use their SNAP benefits online, “and the only locally-owned, non-profit grocer in the program.”
Wu said at the press conference that as a working mom, she understands the struggles that many face when it comes to putting a healthy meal on the table for families.
“We need to make more options available,” she said, but having this as a choice for “people who already face such tight requirements and burdens” is a positive thing.
She added that the city “did provide a bit of support for grants” to help pay for delivery, which is not covered as part of the SNAP program—only the food itself is. All customers of Daily Table receive free delivery if they live within two miles of one of its locations, the city said.
Fernandes Anderson said that “there are so many stereotypes,” and “people already have their presumptions” about “what is luxurious for low income families,” many of which have several issues they face daily, including providing nutritious meals for their children.
“This provides an option to at least provide healthy access,” Fernandes Anderson said.
“Expanding food access requires meeting residents where they are and making it easier for busy families to get nutritious, affordable meals,” Wu said in the release. “In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and winter storms, not everyone has the ability to go into a store. I’m grateful to Daily Table for their partnership in ensuring that Boston’s residents, especially our seniors and those with health concerns, can use their SNAP benefits from the comfort of their own homes to access culturally appropriate food.”
Doug Rauch, Founder and President of Daily Table, said in the release that ““Our mission is to provide fresh, tasty, and nutritious food to communities most in need. Over the last two years, the communities we serve have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID pandemic with higher rates of unemployment and skyrocketing food insecurity. SNAP redemption levels in our stores have nearly doubled since the pandemic started. Enabling our customers using SNAP benefits to order free grocery delivery at the same low prices as in our stores democratizes access and empowers customers to get the healthy, affordable food they need and deserve.”
For more information on the Mayor’s Office of Food Access and its initiatives, visit boston.gov/departments/food-access.