Transforming Food Access: Instacart and Partnership for a Healthier America Kick Off New Fresh Funds Program
At Instacart, we believe technology has the power to transform food access.
Nutrition insecurity is a wide-reaching issue. More than one in 10 Americans don’t have reliable access to nutritious food today¹. Because Instacart reaches more than 95% of U.S. households – including 93% of people living in food deserts – people who haven’t previously had access to nutritious food can now get it delivered directly to their door. In fact, a large majority of the nearly 34 million people experiencing nutrition insecurity in the U.S. now have access to delivery via Instacart. With this scale, we have an opportunity to help close the gap for millions of families facing food insecurity. We also recognize our opportunity to help bridge the public and private sectors in support of this work.
Today we announced the launch of a groundbreaking new program with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), the nation’s leading nonprofit working to transform the food landscape in pursuit of health equity. The program recently kicked off in Indianapolis, supporting families in need with Instacart Health Fresh Funds.
This new Indianapolis program is providing more than 600 local families with $50/month of Fresh Funds stipends to purchase produce through Instacart for three consecutive months. With Fresh Funds, program participants have access to a designated digital stipend to spend on nutritious foods. The program also provides participants with a complimentary Instacart+ membership for four months. With Instacart+, these families can access free delivery and Pickup on all orders over $35, 5% credit back on eligible Pickup orders, and reduced service fees on every order. In celebration of the launch, we hosted a live Fresh Funds and cooking demonstration today in Indianapolis and were joined by Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and PHA.
The Indianapolis program is part of a long-term, national partnership with PHA that we announced in September, alongside the launch of Instacart Health. As part of the partnership, we made a new commitment to bring 10 million servings of fruits and vegetables to families across the U.S. over the next three years. In support of that commitment, PHA is now using Instacart Health Fresh Funds technology to add online delivery to their Good Food For All nutrition incentive program — and Indianapolis is just the beginning. We’re excited to bring this program to additional cities across the country later this year.
Studies have shown that online grocery can help address many affordability and accessibility hurdles and drive healthier decision making for families. Research by No Kid Hungry, Instacart, and The University of Kentucky, for example, proved that access to online grocery and delivery can help families with lower incomes save time, reduce transportation costs, and more effectively manage their budgets. The same research showed that families with lower income who shop online with Instacart purchase more fruits and vegetables – while staying under budget – compared to those who shopped in-store.
In addition to making healthy choices easier, we believe our technology has the opportunity to modernize the traditional food pantry, with a unique and scalable approach that brings more food to more people that need it. In Indianapolis, we’re holding hands with PHA to give more than 600 families access to a wide-reaching network of national, regional and local grocers in their area – alongside the funds to purchase the nutritious foods they need. Our technology is creating a network of virtual food pantries that can ultimately be replicated in cities across the country.
As a company, we’re excited to continue to explore new ways for our technology to improve nutrition security and health equity. From our recent Community Carts campaign, to additional Fresh Funds programs, to new Care Carts partnerships designed to allow organizations to place orders on behalf of clients and patients, we know we have an important role to play in transforming food access. By pairing our technology with the efforts of the broader public and private sectors, we can all make a difference – and help put more nutritious food in the hands of those that need it most.
Last year, we launched Instacart Health, a sweeping initiative designed to deliver the ingredients for healthier living through Instacart’s products, partnerships, and policy advocacy. With Instacart Health, we’re turbocharging our efforts to help ensure every family can access the nutritious food they need. You can learn more about Instacart Health here.
¹ USDA. “Food Security: Key Statistics & Graphics.” April 22, 2022
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