Same-day delivery service Shipt has unveiled a set of new initiatives to reduce food insecurity and increase access to nutritious foods. These initiatives were developed in collaboration with the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. The event, which is the first of its kind in more than 50 years, comes at a time when millions of Americans are experiencing food insecurity and diet-related diseases.
At the Sept. 28 conference, Shipt CEO Kamau Witherspoon will take part on a panel on partnerships to boost access to affordable food options in underserved communities. Witherspoon will speak about the company’s commitments to help improve fresh food access, empower consumers to make healthy choices and enhance nutrition research, which are as follows:
- Support for Small Local Businesses. Shipt will launch an accelerator to support the growth of small local retailers by providing capital, e-commerce-focused technical assistance and education that will enable small retailers to succeed. The company will prioritize minority-owned businesses, with at least half in the food, beverage and grocery categories. Online shopping and delivery can play an important role in expanding access to food in underserved communities, particularly for residents with mobility or transportation barriers.
- Creating a Nutritious and Healthy Marketplace. Shipt will update its marketplace consumer experience to encourage healthy decisions and make meal planning easier for customers with particular dietary needs. This includes enabling customers to filter items by dietary preferences and working with retail partners to expand access for SNAP benefits to be used on delivery orders.
- Support for Food Security Research. Following successful studies on the impact of healthy food delivery for low-income pregnant women, Shipt and the University of Michigan will expand their collaboration with a project to study the benefits of growing access to healthy foods for people with type 2 diabetes.
“As a tech company that delivers groceries, partners with organizations across the country and prioritizes food insecurity as a pillar of focus, Shipt is uniquely positioned to contribute to this conversation,” said Witherspoon. “Shipt is delivering for the communities we serve by expanding access to healthy foods to those who need it most. These new initiatives are an essential part of our ongoing commitment to put people first and make a meaningful impact in parts of our country that have been left out or left behind. I’m looking forward to sharing more details about our new commitments to reduce food insecurity with the White House today and with our customers and community partners in the weeks and months to come.”
Earlier this year, Shipt introduced a Community Impact & Innovation grant program to help organizations in underserved areas nationwide that are working to build healthier, resilient and more equitable communities. Also, to address such social determinants of health as food insecurity and transportation for seniors with chronic illnesses, the company has piloted programs with health care and insurance providers to offer Shipt membership and credits toward healthy groceries and essential items.
Further, Shipt has provided 11 million meals to date, contributed 600,000 pounds of food, and delivered more than 4,000 meals together with Feeding America and Meals on Wheels, and the company continues to work with its retail partners to expand access for SNAP benefits to be used with Shipt delivery.
Shipt is an independently operated, wholly owned subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Target Corp., which is No. 6 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, with nearly 2,000 locations. Founded and based in Birmingham, Ala., Shipt also maintains an office in San Francisco.