Beginning next month, families living in “food deserts” will have increased access to fresh groceries as ride-hailing service Lyft expands its Grocery Access Program to Charlotte, according to the program’s website. The program launched last December as part of Lyft’s initiative to remove transportation barriers to healthy food.
Why it matters: Charlotte’s statistics when it comes to food insecurity, like economic mobility, deliver some sobering truths. In its 2015 State of the Plate report, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Food Policy Council reported that 87,354 of our county’s approximately 1 million residents lived in food deserts, defined as areas where it’s hard to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food.
Local families can register to receive $2 flat-rate fares on eight Lyft rides per month to and from designated grocery stores and food pantries in the 28208 and 28216 zip codes, areas categorized as food deserts.
Loaves & Fishes, a network of food pantries in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, currently has eight designated food pantries listed on the Grocery Access Program website. Summertime is their busiest time of year.
“We see an increase of up to 20% each summer as families — who rely on free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs throughout the school year — are now faced with three months of providing two extra meals a day,” said Loaves & Fishes Communications Manager Sue Bruce.
How the Grocery Access Program works
- Residents in zip codes 28208 or 28216 register online to receive an eligible Lyft code. (Participants without a Lyft account will receive information on how to sign up.)
- Participants will receive monthly email notifications with eligible Lyft codes for the duration of the program.
*As of July 25
- Food Lion
- Compare Foods
- Harveys Supermarket
- Christian Mission Charlotte
- Loaves & Fishes Biddle Point
- Loaves & Fishes CRC
- Loaves & Fishes Goodwill Opportunity Campus
- Loaves & Fishes Mini Pantry at Movement Family
- Loaves & Fishes Mini Pantry Harris Campus
- Loaves & Fishes New Zion
- New Shiloh Baptist Church
- Second Harvest Food Bank
- Food Lion
- Latda Asian Food Market
- Rosa Parks Farmers Market
- Loaves & Fishes Hope Covenant
- Loaves & Fishes New Emmanuel
- Macedonia Baptist Church
- Reeder Memorial Baptist Church
*A referral is required to visit a Loaves & Fishes pantry.
A Lyft spokesperson updated that the service launch has been moved into August. The article reflects the latest information.
Katrina Louis is managing editor of qcitymetro.com who can always find something to do in Charlotte. She’s an offline hustler (and has the shirt to prove it) but when online, find her on Instagram and Twitter.