Instacart, Partnership for a Healthier America help fill the SNAP gap

Collaboration brings three months of fresh produce and a free Instacart+ membership to hundreds in Indianapolis.
Instacart Health
The program comes at a critical time for those facing food insecurity, because beginning in March, funding for the federal SNAP benefits program returned to pre-pandemic levels. / Photo courtesy: Shutterstock

Instacart has partnered with the city of Indianapolis and the Partnership for a Healthier America to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to hundreds in need in Indianapolis.  

The collaboration brings 10 weeks of fresh produce boxes to 640 recipients, along with a free Instacart+ membership for three months and a $50 monthly “Fresh Funds” stipend for produce orders through Instacart.  

The program comes at a critical time for those facing food insecurity, because beginning this month, funding for the federal SNAP benefits program returned to pre-pandemic levels. That change means millions of people across the nation will have less to spend at the grocery store.  

“Every day, too many families in Indianapolis and around the country struggle to access healthy food. This entrenched problem must be addressed so that good food is available to everyone, no matter their zip code,” said Noreen Springstead, president and CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America, in a statement.  

Springstead added that the program not only aims to help those in Indiana, but also serves “as an example of how we can increase access to food that is affordable, healthy, sustainable, high-quality and culturally connected across the country.” 

The launch of the program was announced Thursday at a cooking event at Gleaners Food Bank in Indianapolis by Mayor Joe Hogsett. "When we talk about access to healthy food, what we’re really talking about is access to a better life—including better health outcomes, education outcomes and employment outcomes,” said Hogsett in a statement. “That is the true scope of what our partnership with PHA and Instacart represents.” 

The program is via Instacart Health, an initiative launched as part of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health to deliver healthy food to those in need, and PHA’s Good Food for All program, which aims to provide access to healthy food to families across the nation. The two groups have committed to collaborate to provide 10 million servings of produce to food insecure people over the next three years.  

Instacart explains the Fresh Funds program on its website as giving partner organizations like PHA the ability to provide recipients access to eligible categories on Instacart, and funds to those recipients can be reloaded on a recurring basis. “Fresh funds can also be implemented by major employers and health insurance companies to offer new healthy eating benefits to employees—we’re working on launching these programs in 2023,” the company notes on its website.  

“At Instacart, we believe technology has the power to transform food access and help make healthier choices easier for families nationwide,” said Instacart CEO Fidji Simo in a statement. “With Instacart Health, we’re leveraging our technology, scale and infrastructure to reimagine nutrition security solutions and help drive better health outcomes for communities across the country. This is just a first step, and we’re excited to be partnering with PHA and the city of Indianapolis to offer families in need a more affordable way to access nutritious food.” 

In addition to the Indianapolis initiative, Instacart is offering half-off Instacart+ memberships at $4.99 a month for a year. The grocery delivery service enables SNAP payments at more than 8,000 stores across the country.



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