Instacart is continuing its commitment to addressing food insecurity by launching two new initiatives aimed at supporting communities in need. The San Francisco-based last-mile delivery service is partnering with the city of Columbia, South Carolina, and a coalition of nonprofits in Chicago to provide assistance to residents facing food deserts and food insecurity.
In Columbia, Instacart is introducing the Grocery Access Pilot (GAP) program, offering free one-year Instacart+ memberships, complete with free delivery for orders exceeding $35, to over 100 households residing more than a mile away from full-service grocery stores. This program is aimed at enhancing accessibility to groceries in areas classified as food deserts, and it’s available to eligible residents through the end of November. It’s important to note that this offer is exclusively for individuals who do not currently hold a paid or trial Instacart membership.
This initiative mirrors previous efforts by Instacart, such as its collaboration with the city of Indianapolis and The Partnership for a Healthier America. Earlier this year, they joined forces to provide free Instacart+ memberships and monthly grocery stipends as part of the Instacart Health’s Fresh Funds program.
In Chicago, Instacart is working in partnership with the nonprofit organization Wellness West to launch the Food Connections program. Through this program, eligible recipients will receive a $79 monthly stipend, which can be used within the Instacart Health’s Fresh Funds program. These funds can be utilized to purchase nutritious fresh or frozen produce, subsequently delivered by Instacart. Remarkably, the funds are compatible with other benefit programs like the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The Chicago coalition focuses on serving over 200,000 uninsured and Medicaid-insured recipients who reside in Chicago’s West Side and have been diagnosed with at least one of six medical conditions. The initiative aims to bridge the gap in access to healthy food for communities facing significant barriers to dietary options.
Misty Drake, Executive Director of Wellness West, commented on this partnership, saying, “We are very pleased to be joining forces with Instacart to advance the cause of health equity. For the communities we serve, a whole person model of care that addresses social factors such as access to healthy food is essential. With this partnership, Instacart’s state-of-the-art consumer-tech platform is brought to the mission of helping people across the West Side who are facing significant barriers to healthy dietary options.”
These endeavors by Instacart underscore the company’s commitment to expanding its Fresh Funds program to cities like Denver, Colorado; Englewood, New Jersey; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Washington, D.C., further reinforcing the organization’s mission to combat food insecurity and foster equitable access to groceries.