ATLANTA — Ride hailing app Lyft is launching a new program to help families across Atlanta living in food deserts get access to healthy food.
Lyft, the City of Atlanta and other local food outlets are partnering together to help families "overcome fresh food access challenges."
"We want to help give families access to the healthy foods they need by easing the burden of traveling to food retailers," said Lyft Southeast General Manager Sam Bond. "We’re committed to working towards a future in which Atlanta residents can fully overcome these barriers.”
Over the course of the six-month pilot program, dubbed AgLanta, Lyft will help provide 300 families with eight rides a month - or four trips to and from participating grocery stores - for a flat fee from $2. The program is modeled after another similar initiative in Washington, D.C.
Lyft pointed to the hurdles many families in Atlanta face in order to get to and from grocery stores in areas of the city where there are none.
"It may take them hours to reach a grocery store or supermarket via public transportation," the company said in an announcement about the program. "Lyft’s work with the City of Atlanta seeks to alleviate these transportation obstacles."
According to data from the US Department of Agriculture, food deserts are places where fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthy food options are hard to come by, due to lack of grocery stores, farmers markets and other healthy shopping options. These food deserts are often located in highly impoverished areas, where at least 500 people, or at least 33 percent of the population, live more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store.
Families who participate in the program will have access to shop at designated farmers markets and the "Georgia Fresh for Less" program, whereby SNAP recipients can double their benefits for fruits and vegetables.
For more information about how you can participate in the Access AgLanta initiative, visit https://www.aglanta.org/access-aglanta.