Columbia’s Grocery Access Pilot Program Featured in White House Challenge

Columbia, SC – The White House has announced that the city of Columbia is taking center stage in the White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities through its innovative Grocery Access Pilot (GAP) program.

The GAP program, a collaborative effort between Columbia and Instacart, aims to address food insecurity by providing qualifying residents with a complimentary Instacart membership and a monthly stipend to cover service fees. This initiative is particularly targeted at individuals living in food deserts, as defined by the USDA, where access to fresh and healthy food options is limited due to distance from grocery stores.

Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann expressed his excitement for the continuation of the GAP program and its inclusion in the White House Challenge. “As a part of the Challenge, we hope to demonstrate our ongoing dedication to reducing food insecurity and fostering a healthier community,” stated Mayor Rickenmann. “Columbia aims to serve as a beacon of innovation and inspiration for other cities grappling with similar challenges.”

A 2020 report by the City’s Food Policy Committee highlighted the pressing need for more equitable food access in Richland County, with over 65,000 residents identified as experiencing food insecurity.

With the GAP program at the forefront of the White House Challenge, Columbia is poised to make significant strides in addressing food access disparities and promoting the well-being of its residents. As the city continues to lead by example, it sets the stage for transformative change in communities nationwide.