Mayor Young Announces Extension of Grocery Access Pilot Program in West and South Baltimore Through August
Friday Jun 12th, 2020
BALTIMORE, MD. — Today, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced that the Grocery Access Pilot Program in West and South Baltimore, which provides low-fare rides to participating grocery stores in these neighborhoods, has been extended to August 31, 2020. The extension of the program, which enables city residents without their own vehicles to access fresh, healthy grocery options, is made possible through a partnership with Lyft, the City of Baltimore, Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), Baltimore City Health Department, and the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership (SBGP).
“The Grocery Access pilot has been an especially valuable and critical resource during the pandemic and we are extremely grateful that the various partners who make it possible will continue it through the summer,” said Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. “While the pilot preceded our COVID-19 Emergency Food Strategy, it aligns directly to the strategy and the food retail component, in particular: Core to this work is reaching underserved communities, retaining resident agency and choice and moving away from congregate meal distribution. The Grocery Access pilot supports each of these emergency food strategy goals.”
The Grocery Access Pilot Program launched in November 2019, to provide eligible local families living in parts of South and West Baltimore with a $2.50 flat-rate fare on trips to and from participating grocery stores. This program is extended to those currently registered and is accepting new participants.
“We want to increase access to transportation for those who need it, particularly to help Baltimore residents access healthy foods during this time," said Sam Young, East Regional Director for Lyft. "We’re proud to partner with the City of Baltimore, Baltimore Development Corporation, the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership, and Baltimore City Health Department to fill mobility needs and increase access to grocery stores in West and South Baltimore. We look forward to continuing to partner with Mayor Young and helping bring transportation access to Baltimore residents through LyftUp’s Grocery Access Program."
Total Health Care and Family Health Centers of Baltimore provided support in in identifying and connecting individuals in select West and South Baltimore neighborhoods who are in the greatest need of affordable rides to grocery stores. Total Health Care and Family Health Centers of Baltimore are both nonprofit, Federally Qualified Health Centers that provide healthcare and supportive services for underserved communities.
“We are relieved that this pilot project had already started before the pandemic hit, and thrilled to extend it now, when people need it most,” said Brad Rogers, executive director of the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership
One in four Baltimore residents live in a healthy food priority area, where the median household income is at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level, according to the Baltimore Food Policy Initiative; and more than 30 percent of city households do not own a vehicle. With modifications in public transportation as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, transportation can be an even greater barrier, with many lacking access to personal vehicles.
“Quality grocery stores play an important role in building healthy communities and attracting additional investment,” said Colin Tarbert, president and CEO of BDC. “BDC has been working with our communities to continue to attract and retain grocery stores, and finding creative solutions to provide city residents without personal vehicles to access healthy food options and supporting our existing grocers.”
Participating West Baltimore stores include:
- Save A Lot (250 McMechen St.)
- Shoppers (2000 Gwynns Falls Pkwy.)
- Save A Lot (3427 Clifton Ave.)
- Giant #317 (4624 Edmondson Ave.)
- Food Depot (2495 Frederick Ave.)
- Price Rite (1205 W. Pratt St.)
- Streets Market & Cafe (222 N. Charles St.)
- Eddie’s of Mt. Vernon (7 W. Eager St.)
- Save A Lot (1101 Pennsylvania Ave.)
- Safeway (2401 N. Charles St.)
Participating South Baltimore stores include:
- ALDI (3140 Washington Blvd.)
- LA Mart (2159 W Patapsco Ave)
- Price Rite (1205 W. Pratt St.)
- Shoppers (857 E. Fort Ave.)
- Harris Teeter (1801 Whetstone Way)
- MegaMart (3400 Annapolis Rd.)
West and south Baltimore residents who meet the following criteria are eligible to participate in the Grocery Access Program.
- West Baltimore: Participants must reside within the boundary of West North Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue, West Mulberry Street, West Franklin Street, Edmondson Avenue, and Hilton Parkway and must not have access to a personal vehicle.
- South Baltimore: Participants must reside in the Cherry Hill, Lakeland, or Westport neighborhoods.
Residents can register at www.lyft.com/city/grocery-access/baltimore-md.
Lyft was founded in 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation, and is available to 95 percent of the United States population as well as select cities in Canada. Lyft is committed to effecting positive change for our cities and making cities more livable for everyone through initiatives that bridge transportation gaps, and by promoting transportation equity through shared rides, bikeshare systems, electric scooters, and public transit partnerships.
About the Baltimore Development Corporation
The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) is a non-profit organization, which serves as the economic development agency for the City of Baltimore. Our mission is to retain and expand existing businesses, support cultural resources, and attract new opportunities that spur economic growth and help create jobs. BDC serves as a one-stop resource for anyone interested in opening, expanding or relocating a business in Baltimore City.
About the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership (SBGP)
SBGP was established in 2016 to help implement the South Baltimore Gateway Master Plan, a sweeping plan to improve neighborhoods near the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, with funding provided by Local Impact Grants generated by video lottery terminals. Under its Strategic Plan, SBGP works to improve the vitality of its communities by focusing on three crucial elements of the South Baltimore Gateway Master Plan: Community Development and Revitalization, Environmental Sustainability, and Health and Wellness. SBGP is not an agency of the City of Baltimore or the State of Maryland. It is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of residents of the district and representatives of businesses located in the district. Learn more about SBGP and the communities served at sbgpartnership.org.