This Start-Up Is Changing The Way We Use Food Stamps

The tech and start-up explosion that has been happening is doing great work in making people’s lives more efficient, but with one exception– people with a lower income are unable to profit from the apps in the same way the upper-middle-class folks can. For low-income Americans, the processes they depend on often come with excessive paperwork, long lines, and sizeable interviews.

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But now, technology is starting to offer them a helping hand. Civic technology has seen a remarkable rise in interest and investment as tech workers try to capitalize on the opportunity to unsettle social programs. One program specifically is targeting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is known for distributing food stamps.


Food stamp users are thrilled to try a wonderful app called FreshEBT. The app was launched by mobile start-up Propel and it allows you to check your food stamp balance and organize a budget for your shopping list. Felicia Graybill, a 28-year-old from Brooklyn told Wired, “If I need to check my balance outside the grocery store, now I can just privately look on my phone.”

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At the moment, FreshEBT already has 250,000 active users and it seems that the numbers are only increasing. Propel just announced $4 million in seed money. They hope to make a profit from advertising on the app. FreshEBT is offering coupons and rewards programs with some grocery store chains, which users can easily find in the app.

Outside of the private sector, some states are working to introduce services by way of apps and websites to help their citizens. Texas and New York provide apps for welfare beneficiaries to better manage their benefits package.