Lyft is introducing its Grocery Access Program to Phoenix.
“This is a continuation of our commitment to our communities,” said Drena Kusari, Lyft Southwest regional director.
“At Lyft, this has always been a part of our DNA, a part of our fabric — being able to really be a part of our local communities and fabric.”
The program will provide extremely discounted rates for rides to and from grocery stores to those who live in a “food desert.”
“A food desert means that there’s an area in the city where individuals don’t have access to a grocery store where they actually do sell vegetables and fruits — fresh foods basically within a very large area,” said Kusari.
“When we were doing our research in Phoenix, it was actually incredibly saddening to see just how large those areas are really across Maricopa county and the broader city of Phoenix. … Really what the program does is that it is enabling Phoenicians to take advantage of heavily, heavily discounted rides.”
Lyft, Bashas/Food City, and United Way have partnered together to offer 12 round-trip right for only $2.50 each way to 16 Food City locations across the Valley. The program lasts from May 20 to Sept. 1.
“The total cost of relying on Lyft to get to and from a grocery store in those designated areas is comparable to that of a bus ride but obviously with the convenience of a door-to-door pickup,” said Kusari.
“No walking, especially given the heat during the high temperatures of the summer. Our goal, at least for the initial pilot, the initial three months of the program, is to service over 3,000 round trips and we’re also excited to continue our work and raise further funds to expand the program beyond the initial few months.”
The program is a part of Lyft’s City Works program.
“City Works is really a program where we work with the cities to advance causes that really matters to the citizens of the city, in our case the Phoenicians,” said Kusari.
“We have committed a large amount of funds to this program: $50 million or 1% of our net profits, whichever is greater. So we’re excited to get going with the Grocery Access Program in Phoenix.”
According to DoSomething.org, 23.5 million people live in food deserts, They don’t have access to fresh produce.
Phoenix is the 14th city to join the program..
To use the program, new users will have to download the Lyft app, sign up, and enter the code “FoodAccessPHX.”
Existing users should sign up for the process and enter the same code.
“Everyone should have access to fresh and healthy foods, and we recognize that grocery shopping comes with many challenges in some neighborhoods,” said Kusari.
“Lyft is committed to working toward a future where Phoenix residents can fully overcome the barrier of traveling to food retailers for healthy food options.”