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SNAP Judgment: How the DoorDash Glitch Enabled EBT Fraud [EXCLUSIVE]

SNAP Judgment: How the DoorDash Glitch Enabled EBT Fraud [EXCLUSIVE]

Hundreds, if not thousands, of EBT dollars were misspent on the DoorDash platform last December when a glitch enabled SNAP shoppers to purchase non-food items with their food benefits. This glitch received a lot of attention in certain Facebook groups, where members uploaded and shared photos of their ineligible hauls.

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In this article, we are going to review what happened and why EBT shoppers need to be careful not to exploit these glitches in the future.

The 2023 DoorDash EBT Glitch

Last December, a glitch on the DoorDash platform allowed SNAP shoppers to use their food stamps benefits to buy non-food items from ALDI. News of the glitch exploded in certain social media groups, especially in a certain Facebook group that is dedicated to finding and exploiting EBT glitches.

This particular glitch was very tempting for a lot of people. It happened just before Christmas and it allowed a lot of low income parents to purchase Christmas gifts for their kids – something that’s often impossible on a low income budget. 

As a result, some people spent a significant portion of their food benefits on Christmas gifts and other clearly non-food items. We’re talking about items like stuffed animals, candles, Barbie’s, LEGOs, backpacks, pajamas, home decor, all sorts of things that don’t contain any trace of food whatsoever.

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Many users from this group posted pictures of their hauls, which included a variety of items that should not have been eligible for purchase with EBT.

The situation escalated quickly when DoorDash discovered the glitch. At least one user found her DoorDash account deactivated immediately after the items were delivered. According to the message, DoorDash said she had breached their terms of service. 

Screenshot 20231210 095827 Facebook 3 for

When this particular user tried to alert others in the group, her post was deleted within moments by the group’s administrators who had been promoting the glitch. I was able to grab a screenshot because I happened to be scrolling through Facebook just moments after the post was made. When I went back to look, the post was gone.

Although the administrator of the group immediately declared that no more ALDI posts would be approved, she did not mention that at least one user had lost her DoorDash account because of the glitch.

lowincomerelief.com exclusive no more aldis posts for

This post attracted 59 comments. At least one user pointed out, “This should not be a public group or public posts because all it takes is one person to report fraud and misuse. Its too risky.”

To that comment, the administrator replied that the group cannot be private. She is very open about the fact that she earns affiliate commissions from the links that she shares in this group. She focuses on EBT-eligible items and shares many links to Amazon, Walmart, DoorDash and other platforms that process EBT transactions. According to another post in the group, she could lose access to those programs if she made the group private.

How It Happened

It appears that a technical issue caused ineligible non-food items to be marked as SNAP eligible within the DoorDash app. It appears that only items sold by ALDI were affected.

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DoorDash took immediate action to close at least one account that exploited this glitch. It is not clear how many accounts were affected or if other measures were taken as a result of this incident.

As of the time of this article’s release, requests for comments from DoorDash, ALDI, and the USDA have yet to receive a response. We will update this post as more information becomes available.

Why It Matters

The consequences for EBT users who intentionally purchase items they know aren’t eligible can be severe and life-altering. Consider the user who lost access to her DoorDash account – that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

If you use your benefits to intentionally buy something that you know is not supposed to be SNAP-eligible, that’s called an Intentional Program Violation. It basically means that you’re breaking the rules on purpose – and this decision can have major lasting consequences. 

There are many ways that EBT users can commit Intentional Program Violations. For more information about what that means, what actions are considered IPVs, and how to keep your account safe, please visit our warning about Intentional Program Violations.

Federal law says that an Intentional Program Violation can cause you to lose your SNAP benefits for a year or even a lifetime. In most cases, the consequences are:

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  • 12 Month Suspension for the 1st Offense
  • 24 Month Suspension for the 2nd Offense
  • Lifetime Suspension for the 3rd Offense

That’s a very high price to pay. I don’t want any of you to ever have to pay that price.

Why We’re Covering This

As a leader in this space, Low Income Relief has always sought to help people navigate welfare programs responsibly. For more than a decade, we have dedicated our lives to finding financial assistance programs and government programs that have benefited millions of Americans.

Over the last five years, we have seen an explosion in the number of fraudsters, scammers and bad actors in this space who have sought to make a quick buck from exploiting and misleading low income Americans. It breaks our hearts to see people harmed or endangered by misinformation.

Over the last two months since the DoorDash glitch occurred, the Facebook group that facilitated the fraud has nearly doubled in size from 80,000 followers to over 140,000. As the group grows in influence, it leaves more and more people vulnerable to harm.

I am personally concerned about the people who are being deceived, who may not realize they are putting their benefits at risk by purchasing these items. Since members are encouraged to post pictures of their items and leave comments when glitches work, many EBT recipients are actively and publicly documenting their Intentional Program Violations.

This also jeopardizes the stability and security of the SNAP program by promoting fraud, which will only encourage lawmakers to cut benefits and curtail privileges for everyone who receives benefits. It could damage the expansion of the Online Purchasing Pilot and other initiatives that are designed to help people who rely on these benefits.

In my role at Low Income Relief, I have heard from countless Americans whose lives have been improved through the legitimate, legal use of the Online Purchasing Pilot and other SNAP initiatives. For example, homebound seniors who could not travel to the grocery store have better access to healthier food now. This is a precious blessing and it’s not something that should be taken away because of the fraudulent actions of others.

The Bottom Line

The DoorDash and SNAP glitch highlights the risks of exploiting system vulnerabilities, with potential severe consequences for individuals reliant on such benefits. Misuse of SNAP benefits can lead to significant penalties, including loss of access to vital support programs. At Low Income Relief, we emphasize the importance of using these resources responsibly to ensure they remain available for those in genuine need. Let’s protect the integrity of the SNAP program by adhering to its guidelines and safeguarding its future for all beneficiaries.