Lyft offers grocery ride discount to people living in 'food deserts'

If you live in an area where grocery stores are easily accessible, count yourself lucky. There are large areas of the United States where food choices are limited to what can be found at fast food joints or the highly processed, canned and frozen "foods" available in corner shops. These areas are called food deserts and they suck.

If you have the means to pay for the monthly upkeep of a vehicle, leaving the food desert you live in is a cinch. For low-income families or anyone else subsisting on a fixed income, however, that's just not possible. Unless they're close to public transit and have a few hours to kill to pick up some ingredients to make healthy meals at home, they're forced to eat at burger joints or sit their kids down to whatever less-than-nutritious meal they're able to scrap together from the freezers at the back of a 7-11.

Lyft, the rideshare company, is trying to do something about that.

From The Verge:

Lyft is partnering with a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC to give rides to local families living in food deserts. The pilot program will offer some families access to heavily discounted, shared Lyft rides to grocery stores.

The partnership, with the nonprofit Martha's Table, hopes to reduce time and effort spent shopping for food. For $2.50, qualifying families can ride to and from the limited number of grocery stores in their region, including Safeway, Giant, and Martha's Table's lobby market. The discount can't be used on rides going to any other destinations.

To qualify for the program, the household must have children zoned in one of the few elementary schools that Lyft and Martha's Table have agreed to cover. The program is being piloted from January to June and is only available in DC's Wards 7 and 8 for up to 500 families that will be initially invited to try it.

It'd be nice to see the program extended to seniors and other low-income earners as well, but it's a start!

Image: By Elvis Batiz – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, Link