Food Oasis: Baltimore City Opens 7th “Virtual Supermarket”

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Food deserts are in red.
Food deserts are in red.

Baltimore just opened its seventh location in an innovative public health program.

As many as one in four Baltimoreans lives in a “food desert,” an area “with limited access to healthy food.” Residents of food deserts are less likely to have healthy diets, and they pay for it with higher rates of illnesses like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, according to a report by Johns Hopkins’s Center for a Livable Future.

The city’s Virtual Supermarket Program has been attacking food deserts head on by offering free delivery of groceries at supermarket prices to various locations around the city. It’s not as good as having an actual supermarket; each location receives deliveries only once a week, and customers have a one-hour window to pick them up. Still, it beats waiting around for the problem to solve itself. (Or, rather, for grocery stores to take advantage of the city’s new tax incentive.)

Customers can order groceries at one of the cities seven designated locations or from any WJZ reports that the Virtual Supermarket Program is the first in the United States to accept EBT for online purchases.

For more information on the Virtual Supermarket Program, visit the official website.



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