- Instacart and nonprofit Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) have launched a new nutrition security program for families in need, according to a Thursday announcement.
- The program, which will initially start in Indianapolis before expanding to more cities throughout the year, will offer Instacart Health Fresh Funds stipends and also provide participants with a complimentary Instacart+ membership for four months.
- The partnership between Instacart and PHA was announced in September 2022 as part of the launch of Instacart Health and is also part of a larger commitment to provide 10 million servings of produce to nutrition-insecure families.
Instacart’s work with PHA comes at a time when the company is looking to show that tapping into food insecurity problems can not only help consumers but also businesses.
“[S]olving hunger is not just a social imperative,” Instacart CEO Fidji Simo said in a LinkedIn newsletter on Thursday. “There’s a business case to be made for it, too — especially now that technology makes it possible to scale existing programs, measure their effectiveness, and make them more sustainable. That’s why now is the time for everyone — from Wall Street to Main Street — to get on board and help end hunger. Because the right thing to do is also the smart thing to do, and everyone has a role to play.”
The program will provide 640 families with 10 weeks of free produce boxes followed by complementary Instacart+ membership and $50 per month for three months valued in Fresh Funds stipends for purchasing produce via Instacart. With Instacart+, participants can access free pick-up and delivery on orders more than $35, 5% credit back on select pick-up orders and reduced service fees, according to the announcement.
The initiative expands PHA’s “Good Food for All” program, which works to create more equitable access to healthy, sustainable food. It also is a part of Instacart Health, a health-focused business initiative focused on nutrition security, food as medicine and making healthy options easier to access.
Instacart’s reach stretches to more than 95% of U.S. households and 93% of people living in U.S. food deserts, according to the press release.
PHA’s Food Equity Opportunity Map shows that over 200,000 people in Indianapolis are in need of more equitable food access and face challenges with receiving affordable food and accessing transportation to it, the announcement said.
PHA’s work with Instacart is the newest effort in the organization’s Good For All program in Indianapolis. In the summer of 2021, over 834,000 servings of fruits and vegetables were distributed among more than 1,000 local families with the help of a local distribution partner. In addition, PHA and the city’s mayor announced last summer the expansion of PHA’s program to provide 925 local families with 10 weeks of free produce boxes followed by three months of discounts on produce, according to the announcement.
Over the past few years, Instacart has also taken steps to improve affordability and accessibility to communities in need. This past December, Instacart announced offering its Instacart+ membership at a discounted rate to SNAP participants. The benefit reduces a year-long subscription to Instacart+ to half its regular cost. In November, the company launched Community Carts, a new feature that makes it easier for people to donate groceries through the Instacart app.