Baltimore Offers Food Desert Residents Online Shopping

A new health department program aims to serve food deserts — neighborhoods lacking supermarkets - through a free delivery system that operates in concert with local libraries.

BALTIMORE — A new health department program announced here aims to serve food deserts — neighborhoods lacking supermarkets — through a free delivery system that operates in concert with local libraries, according to a report in the Baltimore Sun.

The Virtual Supermarket Project offers library laptops where residents can order groceries online from Santoni's Super Market and pick them up at the Orleans Street library the next day, the report said. The program offers a second location at the Washington Village library in West Baltimore.

"We know in communities around this library and in Washington Village residents must choose between shopping at corner stores that lack fresh produce or pay a premium for a ride outside their neighborhood and we know this is not a fair choice," said Olivia D. Farrow, Baltimore's interim health commissioner, in the report.

"Most city residents enjoy access to full service, competitively priced grocery stores," Farrow continued. "The residents of East Baltimore and Washington Village deserve no less."

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