WASHINGTON -- On Monday, Lyft and non-profit Martha’s Table announced a partnership that seeks to make access to groceries for Ward 7 and 8 residents easier.
Ward 7 and 8 are considered food deserts.
For its 148,000 residents, Ward 7 and 8 only has three grocery stores.
By contrast, Ward 3, which is higher income as well as majority white residents, has nine grocery stores for the 83,000 residents who live there.
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Through the new program, 500 families living in these wards are invited to a 6-month pilot program that offers 50 $2.50 rides per family to the grocery store.
Lyft says they estimate the program would cost $5 a week, or $125 in all.
The stores serviced are:
- Ward 7 - Safeway | 322 40th St NE
- Ward 7 - Safeway | 2845 Alabama Ave SE
- Ward 8 - Giant | 1535 Alabama SE
- Ward 8- Martha’s Table | 2375 Elvans Rd SE
And to qualify, parents must have one child in one of the 7 participating schools listed on their website.
Lyft says that they’ll be evaluating the program throughout its course to map its effectiveness.
For residents in these wards, going to and from the grocery store can be difficult. Ms. Tibbs, an 82-year-old woman from Southeast, D.C., makes the trip once a month. Along with her 30-pound shopping cart, she travels 2 miles to get her groceries.
There’s been a push to address the gap in grocery and food services in Ward 7 and 8 over the past several years. Another grocery store is expected to open in the area in 2019.
Martha’s Table offers a market for student and families with healthy foods available. Their market is both at schools and at community centers.
The access to food, however, doesn’t stop at grocery stores in parts of Southeast, D.C.
In April, residents signed a petition, urging more food delivery services, such as DoorDash, to service the area. Later that month, residents ordered food from a variety of services, waiting over an hour for their delivery and paying an $18 delivery fee.