Lyft, Valley of the Sun United Way, Food City partner to create a grocery access program in low-income neighborhoods

Lyft announced the company is expanding its national Grocery Access Program into the Phoenix metropolitan area Tuesday.

Piloted in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Access Program aims to improve access to healthy foods for people living in food deserts — defined as areas where it is difficult to find affordable and good-quality fresh food.

“Access to healthy food has [an] important impact to the health and wellbeing of our Valley residents. We felt that we had a role to play here [in] bringing accessible transportation…to access the healthy food that we want the people of Phoenix to [be able to access],” Drena Kusari, Lyft’s Southwest regional director, said.

According to the Arizona Department of Economic Security, more than 700,000 Arizonans reside in a food desert.

Locally, Lyft is partnering with Valley of the Sun United Way and Food City, part of the Bashas’ Family of Stores, to remove barriers to nutritious foods and minimize the negative impacts of food deserts through providing affordable transportation to grocery stores.

“Phoenix has 43 food deserts,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said. “This [partnership] is just a great example of people identifying a need… [and] it’s wonderful when we talk about a problem in the community and people step up and solve it.”

The Grocery Access Program was developed to remove barriers to nutritious foods by providing “deeply-discounted” Lyft rides to and from 16 Food City locations in Phoenix, Glendale and Tempe.

“It’s such a privilege for us to partner with the Valley of the Sun United Way and Lyft on this important program,” Edward ‘Trey’ Basha III, president and CEO of Bashas’ Family of Stores, said. “For us, to see the community thrive is… a goal, a dream. We’re grateful to be a part of something new that will benefit so many families.”

Between now and Sept. 1, 2019, riders can take 12 round trips at a cost of $2 per ride, but depending on community response, the program may be extended.

“It’s just the beginning of what can be an incredible program in our community,” said Valley of the Sun United Way Chief Strategy and Program Officer Nancy Dean.

“The Grocery Access Program is part of a broader Lyft initiative called City Works, which is a program that truly enables Lyft to get into the communities that it serves to have an impact [and] lead impactful projects like the one today and you’ll see more of us doing similar projects in the future,” Kusari said.

Using the code FOODACCESSPHX, riders can travel to and from any participating Food City location:

  • 2124 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix, 85006
  • 3205 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix, 85008
  • 4430 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix, 85008
  • 2709 W. Van Buren Road, Phoenix, 85009
  • 3442 W. Van Buren Road, Phoenix, 85009
  • 4239 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix, 85009
  • 1940 W. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 85015
  • 6025 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix, 85017
  • 6544 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, 85033
  • 5114 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix, 85035
  • 845 W. Southern Ave., Phoenix, 85041
  • 4727 E. Southern Ave., Phoenix, 85042
  • 7227 S. Central Ave., Phoenix, 85042
  • 3514 W. Glendale Ave., Phoenix, 85051
  • 725 W. Baseline Road, Tempe, 85283
  • 6020 N. 59th Ave., Glendale, 85301

Emily Richardson

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