Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) celebrated a new program on March 9 with Instacart, a grocery technology company in North America, and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett as part of their ongoing collaboration to increase affordable access to healthy and nutritious food in Indianapolis.
The program, celebrated at a cooking event at Gleaners Food Bank, will connect 640 Indianapolis families in need with free grocery delivery on orders over $35 and a monthly “Fresh Funds” stipend to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables using Instacart.
According to PHA’s Food Equity Opportunity Map, more than 75% of census tracts in Indianapolis — or more than 200,000 people — are in need of more equitable food access. Indianapolis residents face many challenges to accessing good food, including affordability, availability and transportation, among others. This initiative is part of PHA’s “Good Food for All” program, which aims to create equitable access to healthy and sustainable food, and Instacart Health, a sweeping business initiative from Instacart designed to deliver the ingredients for healthier living. The Indianapolis program comes as part of Instacart’s latest commitment with PHA to bring 10 million servings of produce to nutrition insecure families across the U.S. over the next three years. Instacart and PHA expect to bring additional Fresh Funds programs to cities across the country throughout 2023.
“Every day, too many families in Indianapolis and around the country struggle to access healthy food. This entrenched problem must be addressed so that good food is available to everyone, no matter their zip code. We are taking the steps to solve it by working with Instacart and the city of Indianapolis to make healthy food accessible and affordable for families in need,” said Noreen Springstead, president and CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America. “We are hopeful that this program will make a real difference for families in Indiana and serve as an example of how we can increase access to food that is affordable, healthy, sustainable, high-quality and culturally connected across the country.”
The Indianapolis program is providing 640 families with 10 weeks of free produce boxes followed by a complimentary Instacart+ membership and $50/month for three consecutive months of “Fresh Funds” stipends to purchase produce through Instacart. With Instacart+, individuals 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.
“When we talk about access to healthy food, what we’re really talking about is access to a better life – including better health outcomes, education outcomes, and employment outcomes,” said Hogsett. “That is the true scope of what our partnership with PHA and Instacart represents.”
“At Instacart, we believe technology has the power to transform food access and help make healthier choices easier for families nationwide,” said Fidji Simo, CEO of Instacart. “With Instacart Health, we’re leveraging our technology, scale and infrastructure to reimagine nutrition security solutions and help drive better health outcomes for communities across the country. This is just a first step, and we’re excited to be partnering with PHA and the city of Indianapolis to offer families in need a more affordable way to access nutritious food.”
PHA brought the first phase of its “Good Food For All” program to Indianapolis in the summer of 2021, providing 834,467 servings of high-quality vegetables and fruits that reached 1,020 local families with help of local distribution partner Indianapolis Division of Community Nutrition and Food Policy (DCNFP).
Last summer, PHA and Mayor Hogsett announced an expansion of PHA’s “Good Food For All” program, providing 925 local families with 10 weeks of free produce boxes, followed by three months of produce discounts.
The latest phase of the program aims to unlock the ability for families living in communities that lack access to good food to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from grocery stores that were once completely out of reach for them by using Instacart.
Over the last two years, PHA’s “Good Food for All” program has connected tens of thousands of families in 29 cities with 22 million servings of produce. Following participation in the program, 58% of participants increased vegetable consumption, 51% increased fruit consumption, and over 85% said they were willing to pay for a box of produce.