As part of its initiative to remove transportation barriers to healthy food, Lyft is expanding its Grocery Access Program, which provides thousands of affordable rides to grocery stores for families in underserved areas.
The transportation network launched the program with a successful pilot in Washington, D.C., last December and has since expanded to Atlanta. Realizing the positive impact the program can have in just one community, and how pervasive of an issue this is — affecting approximately 23.5 million people in the United States, according to USDA data — Lyft now plans to launch the program in more than a dozen cities across the country, and will soon roll out to more markets throughout North America.
According to Lyft, the program will now spread to a total of 15 markets: Atlantic City, N.J.; Baltimore; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Detroit; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Richmond, Va.; and Ottawa and Toronto in Canada.
In a Lyft blog post today, the company said, “Through this expansion, we look forward to partnering with local organizations and nonprofits to provide low-income families and seniors living in food deserts with deeply discounted flat-fare rides to get to and from grocery stores. Affordable and reliable access to transportation can have a huge impact on this problem, and we want to help.”
In Washington, D.C., Lyft partnered with community organization Martha’s Table to serve more than 150,000 residents in two wards that have only three grocery stores between them — one Giant Food and two Safeways. Beginning this past January, the Grocery Access Program provided local families with $2.50 Lyft Shared rides to all three grocery stores and The Market at Martha’s Table. Families with children enrolled at seven participating elementary schools could also receive 50 $2.50 flat-fare rides for traveling to and/or from the Giant or Safeway stores and the lobby market at Martha’s Table.
“The Lyft Grocery Access Program is an innovative partnership that aligns with our mission to support strong children, strong families and strong communities,” said Tiffany Williams, chief programs officer at Martha's Table. “By offering discounted flat-rate rides to three full-service grocery stores and to Martha’s Table Market, the program has helped to reduce the time, transportation and financial barriers to healthy food access.”