We have big news: today, our CEO Kamau Witherspoon is announcing Shipt’s new initiatives to reduce food insecurity and increase access to nutritious foods at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health! The convening, which hasn’t taken place in more than 50 years, comes at a time when millions of Americans are facing food insecurity and diet-related diseases. At the conference, Kamau will explain our new commitments and participate on a panel discussing partnerships to increase access to affordable food options in underserved communities.
You can learn more and even tune in here!
We are thrilled to be in D.C. to share the steps we’ve taken to help communities tackle food insecurity, announce a set of new commitments we are making, and discuss how the public and private sector can come together to truly solve this problem.
At the White House conference, Kamau will share our new commitments which will help improve access to fresh foods, empower consumers to make healthy choices, and enhance nutrition research. Our initiatives will:
- Support Small Local Businesses. Shipt will launch an accelerator to support the growth of small local retailers by providing capital, e-commerce-focused technical assistance, and education from industry leaders that will enable small retailers to thrive in an evolving marketplace. Shipt will prioritize minority-owned businesses – and at least half of these retailers will be in the food, beverage, and grocery categories. Online shopping and delivery can play an important part in expanding access to food in underserved communities, particularly for those with mobility or transportation barriers.
- Create a Nutritious and Healthy Marketplace. Shipt will update our marketplace consumer experience to encourage healthy decisions and make meal planning easier for customers with specific dietary needs. This includes allowing customers to filter items by dietary preferences and working with our retail partners to expand access for SNAP benefits to be used on delivery orders.
- Support Food Security Research. Following successful studies around the impact of healthy food delivery for low-income pregnant women, Shipt and the University of Michigan will expand our work together with a project to study the benefits of expanding access to healthy foods for people with type 2 diabetes.
“As a tech company that delivers groceries, partners with organizations across the country, and prioritizes food insecurity as a pillar of focus, Shipt is uniquely positioned to contribute to this conversation,” said Shipt CEO Kamau Witherspoon. “Shipt is delivering for the communities we serve by expanding access to healthy foods to those who need it most. These new initiatives are an essential part of our ongoing commitment to put people first and make a meaningful impact in parts of our country that have been left out or left behind. I’m looking forward to sharing more details about our new commitments to reduce food insecurity with the White House today and with our customers and community partners in the weeks and months to come.”
“As a family-owned business, Lafayette Foods loves serving our community and we didn’t want to fall behind in these changing times,” said Lance Atisha, owner of Lafayette Foods, a small business that recently joined the Shipt marketplace. “It’s important to us to offer good customer service, and we’re excited to now extend that customer service to include delivery for those who need it. We initially didn’t have the e-commerce knowledge or capabilities to get data about our products to a delivery marketplace like Shipt, but they gave us the support we needed.”
“Patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are motivated to change their diet, but overcoming deeply ingrained eating habits is incredibly challenging. Grocery delivery is a game-changing tool because it can change what foods are readily available in patients' homes, making it easier for them to eat healthily. This convenience and increased access to healthy foods can help patients jumpstart new habits to treat their conditions and feel better immediately. Grocery delivery is also inexpensive, easy, and widely available, but an underutilized tool to support patients to live healthier lives as part of their medical treatment,” said Tammy Chang, Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan and Director of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthy Behavior Optimization for Michigan Collaborative Quality Initiative. “Our team of physicians and researchers at the University of Michigan are eager to launch the Healthy Eating JUMPSTART Program and leverage Shipt’s grocery delivery platform because we believe it has the potential to improve health and reduce healthcare costs while supporting businesses and local workers.”
Putting people first is at the heart of Shipt’s DNA as a company – and one concrete way that value comes to life is by helping communities tackle food insecurity. The steps announced today build on existing work we’ve already done to support the communities we serve. Earlier this year, we launched our Community Impact & Innovation grant program to support organizations in underserved areas across the country that are working to build healthier, resilient, and more equitable communities. And to address social determinants of health, such as food insecurity and transportation for seniors with chronic illnesses, we’ve piloted programs with healthcare and insurance providers to offer Shipt membership and credits toward healthy groceries and essential goods.
Additionally, we’ve provided 11 million meals to-date, contributed 600,000 pounds of food, and delivered over 4,000 meals together with Feeding America and Meals on Wheels. We continue to work with our retail partners to expand access for SNAP benefits to be used with Shipt delivery, and to combat summer hunger, we’ve worked with Protective Life Corporation and YWCA Central Alabama to provide free Shipt memberships and credits to families in need.
Taken together, these actions reflect our broader values as a company to prioritize people, build relationships that last, and ensure our growth is aligned with our purpose. We believe these initiatives will make a meaningful difference and will continue to look for ways to improve the communities we are privileged to serve.