What is the goal of Curbside Groceries?
In a survey of 2,000 people across the Capital Area Food Bank’s service region, 90% of respondents were interested in purchasing groceries and prepared meals for themselves if offered at affordable prices and within easy walking distance of their home, work, or school. They also wanted an option that would provide a full market basket of food that would be available throughout the year, as opposed to seasonally. This survey helped to identify gaps that a mobile retail model is uniquely positioned to fill. The addition of a mobile retail grocery option is intended to remove transportation barriers, create access to healthy food, and enable healthier diets for all residents in the Ward.
Curbside Groceries also aims to encourage additional investment in the creation of affordable retail options for Ward 8 residents. The initiative aims to prove there is a market for alternative format grocery stores that can provide viable returns and meet a social need in areas that currently lack access of affordable, healthy food. The food bank will be tracking costs, margins, and other data to share with impact investors and entrepreneurs in efforts to encourage greater investment in the region.
How does Curbside Groceries work? What will the shopping experience be like?
Curbside Groceries will provide a shopping experience unlike anything currently available in the areas along its route. Customers will have their choice of high-quality fresh foods and pantry staples, from fresh fruits and vegetables to dairy and proteins at affordable prices, offering those who wish to purchase their food a convenient way to do so.
The mobile grocery truck’s innovative design allows for customer to shop at Curbside Groceries from inside and out. Its shelves will be fully stocked with produce, dry and canned goods, kid-friendly snacks, baking needs, toiletry essentials, and more. In the refrigerator, customers will find a high-quality selection of meats and other proteins, as well as dairy products and beverages. Curbside Groceries will accept cash, credit, debit, and EBT payments.
How were the neighborhoods for Curbside Groceries’ service area selected?
We used data about food insecurity and food access in Ward 8, along with information about transportation and proximity to schools and apartment buildings in order to identify the neighborhoods that would most benefit from Curbside Groceries. Data shows that many neighborhoods in Ward 8, especially those identified for Curbside Groceries stops, face barriers to transportation and access to affordable, healthy food. The Curbside Groceries route was also determined through wide consultation with the community and area partners currently active in the area, including Arcadia, which delivers produce in Ward 8.
Is the food bank partnering with other organizations on this initiative?
Curbside Groceries is presented through a partnership between the Capital Area Food Bank, Giant Food, J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, and the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation.
How will Curbside Groceries gather and use feedback to improve customer experience?
The Curbside Groceries team will facilitate customer satisfaction surveys to Curbside Groceries patrons to gather feedback about the Curbside Groceries shopping experience, quality of inventory, and other aspects of the program. This information will be gathered on a regular basis to continually ensure that Curbside Groceries offers the best customer experience.