Instacart and MFAN will provide 100-plus military families with $100 in monthly Instacart Health Fresh Funds stipends for three months upon relocation to U.S. Army Fort Cavazos, in central Texas.
Grocery technology company Instacart and national nonprofit organization Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) have joined forces to provide free groceries and delivery to military families who have relocated to a new base.
Through the initiative at U.S. Army Fort Cavazos, in central Texas, Instacart and MFAN will provide 100-plus military families with $100 in monthly Instacart Health Fresh Funds stipends for three months upon relocation to the base. Families can use the Fresh Funds stipends to buy nutritious food and other staples from local retailers, including ALDI. The Fresh Funds can also be used to pay for the cost of delivery to help time-pressed military families spend less time traveling to the store.
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The Fort Cavazos initiative is part of a broader MFAN pilot created to support military family well-being.
“MFAN believes in bringing the best partners together to meet the data-informed needs of the military families we serve,” said Shannon Razsadin, president and executive director of Arlington, Va.-based MFAN. “As we identify dignified, scalable and measurable solutions to support those experiencing food insecurity, there was no better solution than Instacart and the Fresh Funds stipend. We know that food insecurity is a symptom of broader challenges. Through the MFANetwork, together alongside Instacart and our other partners, we will connect families to a network of support while simultaneously ensuring their family has immediate access to healthy food.”
The program is also part of Instacart’s and MFAN’s ongoing efforts to advance the White House’s National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. As part of that strategy to end hunger and lower the incidence of diet-related disease, the White House urged public- and private-sector organizations to work together to expand access to nutritious food for communities with high rates of food insecurity, including the military community.
According to MFA research, one in six military and veteran families face food insecurity or hunger, higher than the national average of 12%. Among enlisted families, that number rises to nearly one in four families. Further, Texas is among the states where MFAN's 2021 survey respondents reported the highest frequencies of military and veteran family food insecurity (26.1%). The organization's research also discovered that frequent and sometimes sudden permanent change-of-station (PCS) moves lead to additional strain on families, including financial stress from moving costs and cost-of-living changes.
“Instacart is on a mission to help every family access the nutritious food they need, and that includes families who sacrifice so much for our country every single day,” said Laura Anderson, director of social impact at San Francisco-based Instacart. “With food insecurity rates rising in the military community, and relocation demands contributing added stress and strain for families, we’re proud to partner with MFAN and use our Instacart Health technology to help ensure members of the military and their families get a fresh — and healthy — start in their new homes at Fort Cavazos.”
The Fort Cavazos program is part of Instacart’s work under its far-reaching Instacart Health initiative, through which the company is leveraging technology, partnerships, research and advocacy to battle nutrition insecurity, spur healthy choices, and scale food-as-medicine programs.