Instacart is partnering with the city of Columbia, South Carolina, to provide free, one-year Instacart+ memberships, which comes with free delivery for orders over $35, to Columbia residents living in food deserts.
The program’s launch, announced on Friday, comes a few days after the San Francisco-based last-mile delivery service announced a partnership with a coalition of Chicago-based nonprofits to provide $79 monthly grocery stipends for West Side residents facing food insecurity.
The two partnerships follow similar efforts by the grocery delivery company, such as its work with the city of Indianapolis and The Partnership for a Healthier America earlier this year, to provide free Instacart+ memberships and monthly grocery stipends through Instacart Health’s Fresh Funds program.
Instacart CEO Fidji Simo wrote in an Oct. 19 blog post that the company plans to expand its Fresh Funds program to Denver, Colorado; Englewood, New Jersey; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Washington, D.C.
Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann announced in a press release that the Grocery Access Pilot (GAP) program will be available to more than 100 households in Columbia that are located more than a mile from a full-service grocery store in areas determined to be food deserts.
The offer is available to eligible residents through the end of November. The offer is only available to those who do not already have a paid or trial membership with Instacart.
Meanwhile, Instacart also is working with the Chicago nonprofit group Wellness West, which works to provide health and safety services to those living in West Side neighborhoods in Chicago, to launch its Food Connections program.
The program will provide eligible recipients with a $79 monthly stipend to be used through Instacart Health’s Fresh Funds program. They can use the funds to buy nutritious fresh or frozen produce that are then delivered via Instacart.
Those funds can be added to other benefit programs such as the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the company said in a press release.
The Chicago coalition provides services to more than 200,000 uninsured and Medicaid-insured recipients who live in Chicago’s West Side and have been diagnosed with at least one of six medical conditions.
"We are very pleased to be joining forces with Instacart to advance the cause of health equity," said Misty Drake, executive director of Wellness West, in a statement. "For the communities we serve, a whole person model of care that addresses social factors such as access to healthy food is essential. With this partnership, Instacart's state-of-the-art consumer-tech platform is brought to the mission of helping people across the West Side who are facing significant barriers to healthy dietary options."