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Instacart to fight summer hunger through food banks, EBT program, more

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Instacart Feed America
Partnering with Feeding America food banks is just one of Instacart's summer initiatives.

Instacart is taking several steps to fight food insecurity this summer.

In a new blog post, Dani Dudeck, chief corporate affairs officer, detailed the delivery platform’s new initiatives, which include supporting local food banks, aiding a new federal EBT program, and launching new partnerships.

“For some families, summer evokes images of swimming pools and backyard barbecues,” said Dudeck. “But for too many families — including far too many children — summer instead means more frequent hunger pangs and months of not knowing when or where they will get their next meal. At Instacart, we’re committed to doing our part to help.”

To combat hunger, Instacart has launched its second annual nationwide Summer Hunger Community Carts campaign to drive food donations to more than 100 Feeding America partner food banks across the country, helping them stock their shelves and support families who are food insecure in their communities. 

First launched in 2022, Instacart’s Community Carts tool aims to reimagine the traditional food drive by making it easy for anyone to donate the exact grocery items their local food banks need most. Items are delivered directly to the food bank by Instacart shoppers from nearby grocers and retailers. As part of this Summer Hunger campaign, Instacart will be waiving all service and delivery fees on every Community Carts donation.

This summer, in states that opted into a new federal SUN Bucks program, eligible families with children will be able to access additional SNAP funds to help put more food on the table while schools are out. Under the new Summer EBT program, eligible families in 45 states, territories, and tribal nations with school-aged children can get an additional $120 per child to buy groceries during the summer. The program will allow families to buy food in-store or online without needing to travel to summer food distribution sites, providing more flexibility and easier access to food.

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Instacart offers online SNAP payments from more than 170 retailer banners spanning over 14,000 stores nationwide, reaching 96% of U.S. households enrolled in SNAP. The platform is also offering free delivery on the first three Instacart orders for new customers and 50% off an Instacart+ membership for all SNAP recipients, which unlocks benefits like free delivery on every order over $35 and much more.

To cap off its hunger initiatives, Instacart has announced several new partnerships. It has teamed up with No Kid Hungry and Mercy Housing on a new program to provide more nutritious food to families living in affordable housing communities and study the resulting nutrition and health outcomes. Instacart will also work with the Military Family Advisory Network to help members of the armed forces and their families access more nutritious food following base relocations. Instacart is also partnering with the American Cancer Society to help families with children undergoing cancer treatments get fresh, nutritious food delivered to their temporary homes at ACS Hope Lodges. 

Instacart added that it is the inaugural corporate sponsor of the Mayors Alliance to End Childhood Hunger, working with mayors from across the country to support initiatives that combat childhood hunger. It also recently expanded its partnership with the National WIC Association, doubling-down on the platform’s commitment to strengthen and modernize the WIC program and ensure every new mother and young child can have access to nutritious food.

“These initiatives — among many more — are all part of Instacart Health, our company’s sweeping initiative designed to expand food access, scale food as medicine programs, and promote better health in communities across the country,” said Dudeck.

Instacart partners with more than 1,500 national, regional, and local retailers to facilitate online shopping, delivery and pickup services from more than 85,000 stores across North America.

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