TWIG Video: Amazon Access Is a Gamechanger for Online Food Equity

Executive explains how program helps nourish consumers and their families in a way that meets their needs and lifestyles

There’s a lot of talk about food inequity nowadays, especially following the White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities. Amazon is one company taking action with its Amazon Access. Launched almost two years ago, this portal makes it easier for shoppers to find and save money on products, including healthy groceries. 

To get more insights into the program, the TWIG Podcast was lucky to speak with Amazon Access’ Nancy Dalton. She found her calling as the head of community experience and customer marketing at Amazon Access. Growing up on food stamps, she understands the true value that programs like these have on families.  

In this episode, Nancy specifically delves into how to drive systemic change in food access through listening, engagement and passion.

Amazon was part of one of the first pilots run by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to accept SNAP EBT online. What first started out in just a few states is now a nationwide program. And with Amazon Access' acceptance of SNAP EBT, consumers can now also buy fresh groceries in an convenient digital way. 

Not only is it more convenient for low-income consumers to order groceries online, but as Nancy pointed out, it also helps eliminate the stigma of using government assistance that can sometimes be felt in-store. 

Amazon Access believes that everyone in every zip code should be able to find and afford good food – whether they live in urban cities, the suburbs or rural areas. 

 “We [Amazon Access] really do try and listen and learn as we go across the country to understand the [people’s] needs,” said Nancy. “We're living in a time where inflation is really high and people are having to make difficult trade-off decisions about how they're going to put food on their table. So we really want to be there for our customers when they need us most.”

She's proud of the way that Amazon Access is changing consumers' perception of Amazon as the place that delivers those “big boxes” to a resource for various different grocery offerings. This includes having convenient access to fresh produce and lean meats. 

Nancy also talks about the ways that Amazon Access is expanding through some key initiatives. For example, it is partnering with different organizations, like Washington State Department of Health and Baltimore Food Policy, to determine how to incentivize healthy eating. 

As Nancy mentioned, Amazon Access is just getting started with ensuring that everyone is able to consume fresh, healthy foods. 

“The time is now for organizations like us to really lean in and support food access initiatives,” she said.

Progressive Grocer’s podcast focuses on the trends, topics and interests that move women forward in grocery retail. If you have an idea for a TWIG podcast topic, contact [email protected] and/or [email protected].

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