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Healthy Living For All: Our $10M Pledge to End Food Inequality

November 13th, 2020

Fast food chains abound on the military base in the Mojave Desert where My lives with her husband and twin toddlers, but grocery stores that stock healthy items are hours away. Susan struggles to afford the groceries she needs on just $170 of government assistance per month. For Rachael, finding the gluten-free products that are essential to managing her celiac disease means driving at least 25 miles, often in heavy snow and dangerous road conditions.

These experiences, shared by some of our Thrive Gives Members, are examples of food insecurity, which affects nearly 54 million Americans unable to access healthy food due to severe limitations in resources and income. The rippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have widened the food insecurity gap for families across the country, brought into even sharper relief by our national reckoning with systemic racism.

At Thrive Market, we have a vision for a better food future for all—and we know that can’t exist without equal access to healthy groceries. Our goal has always been to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone, and we’re proud to introduce a new initiative that will help us advance this effort with the help of our community: Food Equality Now. Read on to learn more about this cause, and how you can join us in the fight to end food injustice.

Understanding Food Insecurity and Food Equality

In one of the most prosperous nations on Earth, it is alarming that so many people struggle to stock their fridges and pantries with healthy food. We believe that access to healthy food should be a priority for all, not a privilege for a few. But food insecurity affects millions of American households, and the problem has only been compounded by recent events. Along with unemployment, the U.S. food insecurity rate has soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, from 37 to 54 million. With schools in two major districts local to Thrive Market—Los Angeles and San Diego—continuing to conduct remote learning, parents in our community (especially single mothers, who make up nearly 30% of food-insecure households) are facing a two-fold dilemma: how to put food on the table potentially without a paycheck, and how to make up the difference while their children are not receiving school lunches.

In the midst of an urgent national conversation about racial justice, it’s crucial to note that BIPOC communities are disproportionately affected by food insecurity. Systemic barriers to education, employment, healthcare, and housing in these communities inextricably links racial and food injustice, furthering America’s deep-rooted divide. Black households face hunger at a rate more than twice that of white, non-Latino households and one in six Latino households in the U.S. struggles with hunger.

How We’re Fighting For Food Equality

Thrive Market’s Food Equality Now initiative is an extension of our core mission to democratize healthy living, with a special focus on food insecurity and its root causes.

To date, our members have donated $3.6 million to help those in need gain access to healthy groceries, including over $1 million as part of our Covid-19 Relief Fund. To continue our collective impact, we’re pledging to raise $10 million in healthy groceries by 2025 to combat food injustice.

To amplify our efforts, we’re joining forces with non-profit organizations that are uniquely positioned to address issues of food insecurity among those who need support most—BIPOC communities, single-parent families, and children.

Meet Our First Partner: Baby2Baby

Baby2Baby is an organization that provides children living in poverty with basic necessities, like diapers and clothing. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Baby2Baby has provided over 20 million essential items, including diapers, formula, soap, shampoo, and baby food, to some of the most vulnerable children across the country. Locally, they have partnered with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Grab & Go Food Centers to distribute healthy essentials.

Since 2017, Thrive Market has partnered with Baby2Baby on numerous volunteer events. Thanks to member donations, we’ve been able to fund 1,000+ products for baby bundles and clean beauty boxes that employees assembled at Baby2Baby’s Los Angeles location. In 2019, we sponsored 20 children as part of Baby2Baby’s Holiday Family2Family drive, festively wrapping holiday gifts and other essential items.

What You Can Do Right Now

Simply by being a Thrive Market member, you’re supporting the effort to democratize healthy living and create a more equitable food future. For every paid Thrive Market membership, we sponsor a membership for an individual or family in need through our Thrive Gives program.

Thrive Market member donations made at checkout to our Food Equality Fund will directly benefit the food insecure. Member support allows us to donate healthy groceries and essentials to families in need via Baby2Baby’s network.

Stay connected here and @thrivemarket to learn more about our partner organizations, keep up to date on our progress, and continue to get involved with the fight for food equality.

This article is related to: Food Charities, Food Industry, Food System, Thrive Gives

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