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Bringing Produce to the People

By Carlen Ruth Hultgren

Lyft, whose mission is to improve lives with the “world’s best transportation,” is teaming up with the City of Atlanta’s One Atlanta Office to make it easier for families living in Atlanta’s “food deserts” access to fresh and healthy food. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food deserts are defined as low-income communities beyond a one-mile radius to the closest supermarket or grocery store. In a 2017 report, 36% of Atlanta was classified as a food desert.

In 2018, by population, approximately 128,000, or 25% of Atlanta residents have to travel more than a half-mile to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. The pilot program will provide 300 families with subsidized travel to Atlanta food retailers, including our own East Atlanta Farmer’s Market, with heavily discounted Lyft rideshare credits to nearby farmer’s markets and grocery stores.

For families facing food hardship, transportation can be a major hurdle due to the lack of a personal automobile and increasingly limited bus routes. It can take hours to reach a supermarket via public transit, making access to healthy food nearly impossible. Lyft’s partnership with the City of Atlanta seeks to alleviate these transportation obstacles.

During the six-month pilot, Lyft will provide 300 families with eight rides per month (four trips to and from participating food resources) for a flat $2 fee, up to $10. This partnership is part of an effort to provide fresh, healthy food options. The City of Atlanta is partnering with Wholesome Wave Georgia, Georgia Farmers Market Association and Community Farmers Markets, local food markets, and community organizations to overcome fresh food access challenges.

“Despite being a large metropolis, transportation remains a barrier for many of our most under-resourced families in Atlanta,” said Denise Blake, president and CEO of Wholesome Wave Georgia. “This pilot program will provide much-needed relief and door-to-door service for families right here in our city.” Participants in Lyft’s pilot program will be able to take full advantage of the “Georgia Fresh for Less” program administered by Wholesome Wave Georgia, whereby SNAP benefits can be doubled at East Atlanta Village and other participating farmers markets.

For more information about how you can participate in the Access AgLanta initiative, contact For more information about the Access AgLanta program, visit To learn more about Lyft and its commitment to improving communities, please visit

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