- Shipt plans to take a range of steps to combat food insecurity and improve access to nutritious foods, including supporting the growth of local retailers and helping consumers choose and access healthy foods, the company announced Wednesday.
- The delivery company developed the initiatives in connection with the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, a gathering taking place on Wednesday that comes at a time when “millions of Americans are facing food insecurity and diet-related diseases,” Shipt said.
- Shipt’s announcement comes as grocers and food-delivery services make strides aimed at countering food insecurity, including bettering food accessibility and implementing nutrition education.
Shipt’s first initiative will be carried out through the launch of an accelerator that provides small local retailers with e-commerce-focused technical assistance, capital and education from industry experts. Shipt also stated it will prioritize minority-owned businesses with at least half of those being in the food and grocery industry.
The delivery company is also updating its consumer experience by allowing shoppers to filter items by dietary preference and expanding its SNAP benefits through partnerships with other retailers. Shipt said it hopes this initiative will not only motivate consumers to make healthier food choices when shopping, but also ease meal planning for customers with specific dietary needs.
In addition, the delivery company plans to work with the University of Michigan on research to study the benefits of better access to healthy food options for individuals with Type 2 diabetes. Shipt previously worked with the university on studies about the influence healthy food delivery has on low-income pregnant women.
“Shipt is delivering for the communities we serve by expanding access to healthy foods to those who need it most.,” Shipt CEO Kamau Witherspoon said in a statement. “These new initiatives are an essential part of our ongoing commitment to put people first and make a meaningful impact in parts of our country that have been left out or left behind.”
The company’s announcement also notes past undertakings carried out in order to tackle food insecurity, including the launch of its Community Impact & Innovation grant program earlier this year. This program aims to support organizations located in underserved communities that work to make their communities “healthier, resilient, and more equitable,” Shipt stated.
To date, Shipt has also provided 11 million meals as well as contributed 600,000 pounds of food and delivered more than 4,000 meals with Feeding America and Meals on Wheels, according to Shipt.
Other companies in the grocery space have also taken steps to make healthier foods more accessible and battle food insecurity. In its latest report, the Food Industry Association said 81% of food retailers it surveyed employ dietitians, with 48% of those dietitians having strategic leadership roles.