Fresh Food

How the grocery industry plans to make Biden’s hunger-ending goal a reality

The White House on Wednesday hosted its first conference on hunger, nutrition and health in 50 years. Here’s how retailers, industry associations and others responded to the president’s ambitious plan to end hunger by 2030.
Grocery fruits and vegetables
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President Biden on Wednesday unveiled an ambitious goal to stamp out hunger by 2030, convening the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, the first gathering of its kind since the Nixon administration.

Grocers, industry associations and tech companies participated in the day-long event along with government officials, academics and activists.

Here’s a look at how many in the food retail industry responded to the White House’s push to improve food access and affordability, increase the availability of nutritious options and more.

Albertsons Companies

Albertsons said it would help 50,000 eligible people enroll in SNAP and WIC benefits in 2023. By 2024, the grocer said it will communicate 50 million “evidence-based suggestions” for improving nutrition to its online customers. By 2025, Albertsons vowed to introduce 1,000 new nutritious recipes and debut six new health campaigns in-store and online to raise awareness of federal nutrition guidelines.

DoorDash

The delivery platform said it will partner with 18 cities around the country to address transportation barriers that keep people from accessing healthy food. DoorDash will provide $1 million in community credits, which local organizations can use to offer free food delivery. DoorDash also said it would give food banks, food pantries and other charitable groups access to Project DASH on its DoorDash logistics platform, which can be used to provide charitable food delivery.

FMI-The Food Industry Association

The industry association said it will work with its members to donate 2 billion meals to food banks and anti-hunger organizations next year. FMI also said it would find ways to make it easier to use SNAP and WIC benefits to pay for groceries online. Further, FMI said it will commit to reaching a minimum of 100 million consumers a year from 2023 to 2030 to promote education about healthy foods. “Across each of these initiatives, FMI commits to internal benchmarking and annual reporting to ensure consistent progress,” FMI said in a White House statement.

Hy-Vee

The Iowa-based grocer pledged to deliver 30 million meals to vulnerable communities by 2025. Hy-Vee also said it would enlist its in-store dietitians to educate 100,000 consumers who live in areas of low-food access about healthy eating and nutrition by 2026.

Instacart

The same-day delivery platform announced a broad-based health-and-nutrition initiative that includes greater access to SNAP and TANF benefits, improved food labeling, and partnerships with health care providers, caregivers and nutritionists to create shoppable lists for disease-specific diets.

International Fresh Produce Association

In 2023, the International Fresh Produce Association will launch a new public database called “Produce in the Public Interest” to share research about national fruit and vegetable consumption, with a focus on removing barriers to improving eating habits. It will also produce and distribute resources to improve nutrition literacy.

Kroger

Kroger is partnering with the Rockefeller Foundation and the American Heart Association to roll out a $250 million Food is Medicine Research Initiative this spring. The program will help the health sector design and grow “food is medicine” programs and incorporate them into the health care system.

Meijer

Midwest supercenter chain Meijer is looking to make fresh produce more affordable, offering a rolling set of automatic dollar-off and percentage-off discounts, from $5 to $10 and 5% to 10%, on SNAP purchases of qualifying fruits and vegetables. The deals will begin this fall at all of Meijer’s 499 SNAP-authorized locations, the retailer said.

National Grocers Association

The industry association said it will work with grocery stores over the next two years to increase the number of retailers authorized to accept SNAP benefits online, with an initial focus on rural areas and other parts of the country with low food access. "Across the nation, independent grocers and wholesalers serve as the cornerstone of their communities, providing access to nutritious food, essential services and creating jobs,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO, in a statement. “As the supermarket industry continues to evolve and innovate, NGA and our members are committed to preserving the longstanding, strong public-private partnerships with federal and state nutrition programs, and enhancing capabilities to reach and serve all Americans."  

Publix

The employee-owned grocer said it will donate $3.85 million to 22 Feeding America food banks to create free, mobile food pantries stocked with locally grown fruits and vegetables. Publix said it will provide the pantries with at least 500,000 pounds of produce each in their first year of operation. Next year, Publix said it will host a national hunger summit with its food bank partners and that it will run a fundraising campaign at its registers, expected to generate up to $10 million in donations.

Shipt

The delivery platform said it will unveil an accelerator next year to improve access to capital and technical assistance for local retailers seeking e-commerce capabilities. Shipt will also launch two new product features in 2023 to facilitate diet-specific meal planning and to expand the option to accept SNAP EBT to all eligible retailers on its platform.

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