Company Updates

Tackling Nutrition Insecurity, Together

Instacart

Instacart

Jul 26, 2022

At Instacart, we believe everyone should have access to the food they love and more time to enjoy it together. To make this a reality, we’re working every day to bridge the food access gap and make grocery delivery more accessible for those who are nutrition insecure. 

That’s why we’re thrilled to be supporting the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health that the Biden Administration will host in September. The conference is intended to rally the public and private sectors around a strategy to accelerate progress in combating food insecurity, improve nutrition, and close the disparities surrounding them.

Leading up to the conference, the administration asked for ideas and stories to directly inform the national strategy. As a partner to communities across the country, Instacart is uniquely positioned to convene real and substantive conversations on what it means to grapple with nutrition insecurity in the communities we serve. 

Over the past month, Instacart convened five local listening sessions in Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York City, Portland (OR), as well as a national listening session in partnership with the Alliance to End Hunger. We were overwhelmed by the response and moved by the stories we heard throughout the six listening sessions, as local elected officials, community leaders, and individuals who face nutrition insecurity shared their experiences, challenges, and ideas about hunger and nutrition.

Throughout each session, several common themes emerged, providing a roadmap of how Instacart and our public- and private-sector partners can have the most significant impact on this systemic challenge:

  • Support Public-Private Partnerships: Organizations of all types should work together to modernize government programs to provide equitable access to healthy food for all people in this country. 

    For example, in Oregon, we heard from college students who struggle to afford meal plans but don’t know how to even determine whether they are eligible for food assistance programs. At Instacart, we were proud to bring the EBT SNAP program online across the country (now available across over 8,000 stores in 49 states), and we’re now partnering with government leaders at the federal and state level to help modernize additional programs.

  • Increase Access & Education: Support policies that help grocers invest and thrive in underserved communities to help alleviate the lack of access to healthy food and educate consumers on making healthy decisions that fit their lives.

    We heard from volunteers at local food banks in South Atlanta, who recognize the importance of providing healthy food options and actively seek out “low sodium” and “low sugar” foods — but seldom can find such products in the communities they serve. Our Instacart team is working every day to expand access to healthy foods by helping ensure everyone can access online grocery delivery, and we’re working on new ways to empower customers with nutritional-related information across our platform.

  • Expand Access to Technology: Ensure more people have digital access to help them connect to resources that help them make informed decisions and access services.

    In Miami, for instance, we heard how technology can be a game-changer when it comes to helping individuals access healthy food and helping local nonprofits maximize their impact. However, many families and communities still don’t have access to important technologies like high-speed internet. At Instacart, we’re committed to working with government leaders to build awareness around and help forge solutions to these challenges. 

We have shared these and other key takeaways with the White House as it prepares for the conference, and we are continuing to work with elected officials to raise awareness about these critical challenges.

The last time the White House held a conference on food and nutrition was 1969, when thousands of government officials, business and civic leaders, academics, and researchers gathered in Washington to address surging hunger rates across America. The result was landmark legislation that created or expanded numerous food programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Meals on Wheels initiative, the school breakfast program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). 

Half a century later, the upcoming White House Conference will again bring stakeholders from all corners of the food and nutrition space to drive transformative change. With 40 million people across America struggling with hunger, we need another moonshot moment, and working together, pooling our best ideas, we can once again change the landscape of hunger and help ensure everyone can access the nutritious food they need to lead healthy lives. 

Click here for more information on the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, and stay tuned for more details in the coming months on Instacart’s work around the themes that emerged from the listening sessions.

Instacart

Instacart

Instacart is the leading online grocery platform in North America, partnering with more than 750 beloved national, regional and local retailers, including unique brand names, to deliver from more than 70,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in North America. To read more Instacart posts, you can browse the company blog or search by keyword using the search bar at the top of the page.

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