Baltimore now has 7 Virtual Supermarket locations - Baltimore


Dec. 29, 2015 8:01 am

Baltimore now has 7 Virtual Supermarket locations

The program uses online grocery ordering to shrink food deserts.

Marshall Klein, of Klein's Family Markets, discusses ShopRite's involvement as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake looks on. December 2014.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Baltimore launched a new location for a program designed to help residents get access to healthy food via online ordering.

The Virtual Supermarket program expanded to N. M. Carroll Manor Apartments, a low-income senior housing facility in the Harlem Park neighborhood. That marks the program’s seventh location. Around this time last year, the city launched another location in Southeast Baltimore.

While startups often tout convenience, the idea for this grant-funded program is to use online grocery ordering as a tool to provide food access in food deserts. In Baltimore, one in four residents live in a food desert, according to a Johns Hopkins study.

As part of a renewed version of the program that launched in the summer of 2014, ShopRite is the partnering grocery store that provides the goods. The store then delivers the groceries once a week to Carroll Manor, where residents can pick them up.

Officials say it is also the first program in the country to accept EBT/Food Stamps with online grocery ordering. Highlandtown-based Santoni’s was the program’s initial partner until it closed.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the lead reporter for Baltimore. A graduate of Northeastern University, he moved to Baltimore following a stint in New Orleans, where he served as managing editor of online news and culture publication NOLA Defender. While there, he also wrote for Times-Picayune. He was previously a reporter for the Rio Grande Sun of Northern New Mexico.


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