A prescription-for-produce program aimed at addressing food insecurity is being expanded at Stop & Shop locations in New England.
New England retailer Stop & Shop is partnering with the nonprofit group About Fresh to help provide healthy food to communities in need. Through the “Fresh Connect” program in place at more than 100 stores, people can use pre-paid debit cards to purchase fresh produce at Stop & Shop stores.
The cards are given to food-insecure consumers by certain healthcare institutions in compliance with HIPAA privacy standards. When users swipe their cards at checkout, the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables will be automatically deducted from the total purchase price.
Stop & Shop, the first major grocery to launch this produce-as-prescription program, plans to expand the offering to more than 400 other locations in its service area by early spring.
"Especially in the midst of the global pandemic, working with Stop & Shop to ensure communities have access to fresh fruits & vegetables is more important than ever,” said Josh Trautwein, co-founder and CEO of About Fresh. "By combining Stop & Shop’s reach across the Northeast with Fresh Connect’s innovative prescription produce program, thousands of people are gaining access to affordable, healthy food that they love.”
Based in Quincy, Mass., the Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. LLC employs 58,000 associates at more than 400 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, is the parent company for Ahold Delhaize’s U.S. companies, consisting of Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Co., Hannaford, and Stop & Shop, as well as e-grocer Peapod; Retail Business Services, a U.S. support services company providing services to the brands; and Peapod Digital Labs, its e-commerce engine. Operating more than 2,000 stores across 23 states, Ahold Delhaize USA is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables.