QUINCY, MASS. — Eastern retail chain Stop & Shop is taking “food as medicine” to another level.
Stop & Shop has partnered with Boston-based nonprofit About Fresh and its Fresh Connect program to supply people in need with prepaid debit cards to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
Stop & Shop is the first major retailer to make this “produce as a prescription” program available, according to the retailer. After a successful pilot at Stop & Shop’s Grove Hall store location, the program is now available at more than 100 store locations in Eastern Massachusetts and will expand to all Stop & Shop stores by early spring.
“Increasing access to fresh and healthy foods for those facing food insecurity remains a top priority for us when it comes to caring for our communities,” said Gordon Reid, president of Stop & Shop. “With food insecurity continuing to impact the neighborhoods that Stop & Shop serves at an overwhelming rate, we’re proud to come together with About Fresh to ensure that even more people can access fresh, high-quality foods that support their wellbeing.”
Fresh Connect’s debit cards for qualifying individuals and families are primarily funded by major healthcare institutions like Brigham Medicaid ACO and Brigham Women’s Faulkner Hospital, and Boston Medical Center.
Prior to teaming up with Stop & Shop, Fresh Connect cardholders were able to use their cards at About Fresh’s “Fresh Trucks”, trucks offering fresh produce around Boston, as well as other local retailers.