Stop & Shop, Ahold Delhaize USA’s largest brand, has partnered with Boston-based nonprofit About Fresh and New York-based Children’s Hospital at Montefiore to tackle food insecurity in New York City’s Bronx neighborhood.
The program allows shoppers to use a prepaid debit card, prescribed by healthcare providers, to purchase healthy food through About Fresh’s Fresh Connect Program.
The families selected for the Fresh Connect program will receive debit cards to buy $100 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables each month at Stop & Shop stores.
The program, which also launched in 2022 in Stop & Shop's Massachusetts stores, is made possible with a $75,000 grant from the Massachusetts-based grocery retailer, according to a recent press release from the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore.
“We talk with our families regularly about the importance of a healthy diet, but we know that many of them have difficulty finding and affording high-quality produce," said Suzette Oyeku, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., chief, Division of Academic General Pediatrics, Children's Hospital at Montefiore and professor of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in a statement. "Through this new partnership with Stop & Shop and About Fresh, we will be able to help families buy healthy foods and hope to instill sustainable habits that can help decrease risks for chronic health conditions like diabetes, obesity and heart disease."
The program comes at a critical time as millions of Americans have struggled following the rollback of SNAP Emergency Allotments in March.
“As a major food retailer with a strong presence in New York City, we recognize the important role we play in improving access to healthy and affordable food for our communities," said Gordon Reid, president of Stop & Shop, in a statement. "We are proud to partner with the Children's Hospital at Montefiore to be the first to bring the Fresh Connect prescription produce program to the Bronx to help our neighbors struggling with food insecurity gain more access to fresh, high-quality foods that support their health and wellbeing."
Quincy, Massachusetts-based Stop & Shop operates more than 400 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.