Propel is a mobile app that is trying to make the use of food stamps more straightforward

The number of households using food stamps in the U.S. has more than tripled over the past decade. The $70 billion program currently helps 45 million Americans, yet up until now, it remained unaffected by the ftech revolution. Brooklyn-based startup Propel aims to transform this paperwork-heavy system with an easy-to-use mobile app.

Currently, those who want to take advantage of food stamps have to call a hotline and save all grocery receipts, with benefits being transferred each month onto government-issued EBT card. With Propel’s app, called Fresh EBT, users can easily check the card’s balance, views spending history and find nearby stores that accept food stamps. In addition, in efforts to encourage healthy financial decisions, the app lets users create shopping lists and browse through local deals.

The company has recently raised $4 million in seed funding and has a user base of more than 250,000. “We’re excited to prove that venture-backed startups can responsibly address social issues, too,” Propel founder and CEO Jimmy Chen told Techcrunch. “In our business model, the best way to amplify our impact is to grow our business, by getting more users on the platform or by finding them more savings on groceries.”

Propel is also the company behind mobile-optimized website easyfoodstamps.com which makes the process of applying for food stamps easier by translating legal jargon into simple English. The service is currently only available in Pennsylvania.

Propel

The number of households using food stamps in the U.S. has more than tripled over the past decade. The $70 billion program currently helps 45 million Americans, yet up until now, it remained unaffected by the ftech revolution. Brooklyn-based startup Propel aims to transform this paperwork-heavy system with an easy-to-use mobile app.

Currently, those who want to take advantage of food stamps have to call a hotline and save all grocery receipts, with benefits being transferred each month onto government-issued EBT card. With Propel’s app, called Fresh EBT, users can easily check the card’s balance, views spending history and find nearby stores that accept food stamps. In addition, in efforts to encourage healthy financial decisions, the app lets users create shopping lists and browse through local deals.