Kroger’s trucks roll into food deserts
Kroger has partnered to bring Zero Hunger Mobile Market — described as a “single-aisle grocery store on wheels”— to Louisville neighborhoods that lack a nearby supermarket. The program looks to build on the success of a similar program launched last year in Milwaukee.
In a statement, Kroger said the goal of the program is to provide better access to fresh food in communities where people that can’t easily reach a store for a number of reasons, including lack of transportation and physical disabilities. Food insecurity is linked to higher rates of illness and lowered life expectancy in predominantly low-income neighborhoods.
In Louisville, Kroger partnered with Dare to Care, a Louisville food bank and non-profit, and Louisville Forward, the city’s economic development arm. Louisville Forward committed $60,000 to the project, and Dare to Care spent $140,000 to purchase the truck and trailer. Kroger outfitted the truck and has three employees running it.
Customers boarding the 50-foot refrigerated trailer can find nearly 200 different products ranging from fresh meat and dairy products to produce and staple food items. Said Annette Ball, chief programs officer for Dare to Care, in a statement, “You might not find 100 percent of what’s on your grocery list, but you sure are going to be able to make great, nutritious meals for your family.”
The truck makes two stops daily, five days a week, across Louisville’s neighborhoods, including low-income housing complexes, senior living centers, schools, parks and community centers. The locations are selected by Dare to Care.
Customers pay through debit and credit cards or EBT (electronic benefit transfer). Cash isn’t accepted. Kroger Reward sale prices are automatically included.
The Louisville program seeks to build on the success of Milwaukee’s Fresh Picks Mobile Market, a partnership between the Milwaukee Hunger Task Force and the Kroger-owned chain, Pick ‘n Save. Kroger’s other divisions may also introduce a mobile market as part of Kroger’s Zero Hunger, Zero Waste initiative, Erin Grant, a spokeswoman with Kroger’s Louisville division, told the Louisville Courier Journal.
She said, “It does not have to be a brick-and-mortar store for us to provide access to healthy food for people.”
- Kroger brings a mobile grocery store to Louisville, Kentucky – Kroger
- Kroger’s mobile market brings fresh food to Louisville neighborhoods without access – Louisville Courier Journal
- Kroger Launches Mobile Market in the Louisville Area – Deli Market News
- Zero Hunger Mobile Market – Dare To Care
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see Zero Hunger Mobile Market as a potential market opportunity for Kroger or simply a goodwill initiative? Are there steps Kroger should take to further capitalize on the effort?