Starting from January 2019, local families living in food deserts in Washington, D.C. will be offered $2.50 Lyft Shared rides to local grocery stores for a six-month pilot period, transportation company Lyft has announced.
The goal of Lyft’s new Grocery Access Program is to improve the lives of people living in areas that lack affordable and good-quality food in D.C.
According to the D.C. Policy Center, “food desert” is an area where people have less access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Over 40 percent of households don’t have access to public transportation in a food desert, and the median household income is less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four, which was about $44,995 in 2015.
“With only three grocery stores in Wards 7 and 8 (of 49 in the District) serving over 150,000 residents, Lyft appreciates how difficult it can be for people to have reliable access to fresh, healthy produce and staples for their family,” the company said in a blog post announcing the program. “That’s why Lyft has partnered with community leader, Martha’s Table, to launch the Lyft Grocery Access Program and meaningfully engage in D.C.’s food ecosystem.”
Under the program, local families will receive Lyft Shared rides to three grocery stores in Wards 7 and 8 and The Market at Martha’s Table. “During a six-month pilot period from January through June, families with children enrolled at seven participating elementary schools will receive fifty $2.50 flat fare rides for traveling to and/or from Giant (1535 Alabama Ave SE), Safeway (2845 Alabama Ave SE), Safeway (322 40th St SE) and the lobby market at Martha’s Table (2375 Elvans Road SE),” the company statement added.
In cooperation with Martha’s Table, Lyft is aiming to lessen the time, transportation issues and financial costs for hundreds of families whose shopping trips will be facilitated to chosen grocery providers under the new program.
Lyft’s Mid-Atlantic general manager Steve Taylor told MarketWatch’s Moneyish that they can also expand the program within the D.C. area. “We think this is just the beginning, and we hope to continue to engage in D.C.’s food ecosystem beyond this pilot program,” said Taylor.
More information is available at lyftgroceryaccess.com.