Instacart Debuts Program to Help DC Families Access More Fresh Produce

E-comm provider partners with PHA, Building Bridges Across the River and Martha’s Table
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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After a successful launch in Indianapolis, Instacart and PHA rolled out the Good Food at Home program in Washington, D.C., to enable food-insecure residents of Wards 7 and 8 to access fresh produce and receive free grocery delivery.

Grocery technology company Instacart has teamed up with Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and local organizations Building Bridges Across the River and Martha’s Table to launch a program in Washington, D.C., that will provide 500 food-insecure families in the city’s underserved Wards 7 and 8 with a $60 monthly Instacart Health Fresh Funds stipend to buy fresh fruits and vegetables on Instacart, as well as free grocery delivery. Wards 7 and 8 have just three full-service grocery stores serving 150,000 residents, compared with eight full-service grocery stores serving 84,000 residents in Ward 3. 

The D.C. rollout is part of PHA’s Good Food at Home program, which provides fresh produce to families facing access barriers to nutritious food, and Instacart Health, a business initiative that leverages the power of the company’s platform, products and partnerships to expand access to nutritious food, inspire sustainable healthy choice sand scale food-as-medicine programs across the country. Instacart has made a larger commitment with PHA to bring 10 million servings of produce to nutrition insecure families across the country over the next three years. Earlier this year, PHA and Instacart successfully introduced the program in Indianapolis, piloting the produce credit model using Instacart Health Fresh Funds. Results from the program in Indianapolis found that the produce credits helped 78% of participant families establish healthier eating habits.  

The D.C. program was revealed during a cooking demonstration and campus tour at the Building Bridges’ Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Partnership for a Healthier America, Instacart and Martha’s Table in an effort to increase affordable access to nutritious food for families in Washington, D.C.,” said Rahsaan Bernard, president and CEO of the organization. “Food justice is foundational to the mission of Building Bridges Across the River and informs the collaborations and partnerships we forge.” 

“For one in six Americans, healthy food is too expensive, too far away, or both,” noted Noreen Springstead, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based PHA. “This new phase of our Good Food at Home program will not only connect D.C. families with healthy food in the short term, but we know from our work in previous cities that it will also help to build long-term, healthy habits of fruit and vegetable consumption.”  

[Read more: "Food Insecurity On the Rise: Report"]

The 500 families in the program receive a four-month complimentary Instacart+ membership and $60 in Fresh Funds per month for three consecutive months to buy fresh fruits and vegetables via Instacart. With Instacart+, people get free delivery and pickup on all orders over $35, 5% credit back on eligible pickup orders and lower service fees on every order.

“With Instacart Health, we are harnessing our technology and scale to reimagine what the future of nutrition security and health can look like,” said Dani Dudeck, chief corporate affairs officer at San Francisco-based Instacart. “Through our partnership with PHA, we are combining the power of online grocery and delivery, plus innovative programs like the Good Food At Home program to break down access barriers for families across the country. We are thrilled to bring Fresh Funds to Washington, D.C., in partnership with PHA to offer families better access to healthy and affordable food in the nation’s capital.”

Through our joyful markets, cooking demonstrations, and other health-and-wellness programs, our community members show us that they want fresh fruits and vegetables, but soaring food prices and lack of transportation serve as tremendous barriers,” added Martha’s Table President and CEO Tiffany Williams. “Our partnership with PHA, Instacart and Building Bridges Across the River through the Good Food At Home program makes it easier for busy, hard-working families to achieve their healthy food goals with just a few clicks of a button.”

According to D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb, the collaboration “underscores the power of public and private partnerships in addressing this critical issue.”

Since May 2020, the Good Food at Home program has connected thousands of families in 30-plus cities with more than 34 million servings of produce. After taking part in the program, 58% of participants boosted their vegetable consumption and 51% increased their fruit consumption, according to PHA.

Instacart partners with more than 1,400 national, regional, and local retail banners to facilitate online shopping, delivery and pickup services from more than 80,000 stores across North America on the Instacart Marketplace.

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