New Research Shows Benefits of Online Shopping for Low-Income Families

New research conducted by the University of Kentucky on behalf of No Kid Hungry (with funding from Instacart) shows that online grocery shopping has many potential benefits for families on tight food budgets, including those who qualify for SNAP.

The report, "Online Shopping for Low-Income and SNAP Families," underscores some of the barriers that have made it harder for some families to use online grocery shopping and outlines opportunities to improve access.

The benefits

  • Helped stretch limited food budgets by encouraging meal planning, which reduces unnecessary purchases and saves money.
  • Increased the number of fruits and vegetables purchased without adding to the overall bill.
  • Decreased SNAP stigma by allowing shopping in the privacy of your home.
  • Increased access, particularly among people with mobility issues, people without transportation, and families with young children who could shop without having to bring small children into a store.

As one respondent said, "I think [online grocery shopping] makes things a lot quicker. And for me it's like if I go into a store, I go up and down every single aisle and I'm looking at everything. So I end up spending more money... I wouldn't really meal plan or anything like that. ... As opposed to shopping online, I don't have that option. So I know what I need, I'm able to open up my refrigerator, see what I need, see what I don't need. It encourages me more to meal plan. It ends up being a quicker process and a cheaper process."

Online shopping has the potential to help families get more of the healthy food their kids need to grow up healthy, educated and strong, making it one more tool to help achieve our mission of building a nation where no child goes hungry.

Learn more about the ways you can help hungry kids or make a donation today.