Program improves access to healthy food options in Brownsville

AmNews Staff Reports | 8/23/2019, 8:47 a.m.
Lyft, in partnership with GrowNYC and its community partner, BMS Family Health and Wellness Centers, is improving access to healthy ...

Lyft, in partnership with GrowNYC and its community partner, BMS Family Health and Wellness Centers, is improving access to healthy foods for people with inadequate access to full-service grocery stores and farmers markets in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Together, these organizations are launching the city’s Grocery Access Program that, in its first phase, will help up to 200 families through October 2019.

The new Grocery Access Program represents a commitment among Lyft, GrowNYC and BMS, to minimize the negative impacts of food deserts by making it easier, faster, and less expensive for residents in these areas to access farmers’ markets. In 2018, over 16,000 New Yorkers used their SNAP cards at GrowNYC markets, resulting in 50,265 visits and $1 million in sales.

Through the program, eligible families chosen by BMS will receive discounted Lyft rides of $2.50 to and from multiple markets in and around the Brownsville area. The program enables residents to get to and from GrowNYC’s network of Greenmarkets and Youthmarkets for less than the cost of a roundtrip bus ticket—but a Lyft ride makes it considerably easier and faster to shop at the food market.