Part of the Food Policy Snapshot Series
Policy name: Instacart Health Fresh Funds Program
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Population: 0.9 million
Food policy category: Food security, nutrition
Program goals: To help food-insecure families access healthy foods.
How it works: Instacart partners with food retailers across the country to offer online grocery shopping and home delivery. The Fresh Funds program provides 640 food-insecure Indianapolis families with $50 per month, for three months. The Fresh Funds can be used to purchase fresh produce through Instacart. In addition, for four months participants also receive complimentary access to Instacart+, which allows them free delivery on all orders over $35 and reduced service fees on all orders.
Progress to date: Instacart and PHA announced their partnership in September 2022 with the launch of Instacart Health and a commitment to providing 10 million servings of produce to food-insecure families over the next three years. The Fresh Funds program began in March 2023 in Indianapolis and will be introduced in other cities across America later in the year.
Why it is important: More than 10 percent of US households experience food insecurity, and 42.6 million Americans receive SNAP benefits. Instacart, which accepts SNAP EBT payments, is available in all 50 states and accessible to more than 95 percent of the American population. With the end of SNAP emergency allotments and the rising cost of food, many families are now struggling with a significantly smaller budget for buying more expensive food. The Fresh Funds program will make it easier for families in need to acquire nutritious food with the convenience of online shopping and home delivery.
Program/Policy initiated: The program launched in Indianapolis on March 9, 2023.
Point of contact:
Instacart Press Team
Similar practices: Instacart Health, launched in September 2022, includes several tools to help consumers find and purchase healthier foods, including a healthy recipe library, health tags to identify products that fit particular dietary needs or restrictions, and Care Carts that allow medical providers to order groceries on a patient’s behalf.
Evaluation: Evaluation has not yet been conducted.
- A Hunger Crisis Sparked by COVID Rages on Three Years Into the Pandemic. Here’s How You Can Give or Get Help (CNN)
- Instacart, Partnership for a Healthier America Help Fill the SNAP Gap (Winsight Grocery Business)
- Instacart, PHA Join Together to Help Families in Need (Supermarket News)
- Low-Income Families Brace for End of Extra Food Stamp Benefits (The New York Times)
- New Research Report: Online Shopping for Low-Income and SNAP Families (No Kid Hungry)
- SNAP Emergency Allotments and Public Health Emergency: Preparing for the Hunger Cliff (Food Research and Action Center)
- Food Price Outlook, 2023 (Economic Research Service)
- Food Security Status of U.S. Households in 2021 (Economic Research Service)
- Instacart (Partnership for a Healthier America)
- Instacart Teams with Nonprofit on Nutrition Initiative (Grocery Dive)
- Introducing Instacart Health: Delivering the Ingredients for Healthier Living (Instacart)
- SNAP Emergency Allotments are Ending (United States Department of Agriculture)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Number of Persons Participating (Food and Nutrition Service)
- Transforming Food Access: Instacart and Partnership for a Healthier America Kick Off New Fresh Funds Program (Instacart)