PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Several companies partnered to launch a mobile grocery which will provide fresh produce and other groceries to Petersburg residents for free.
According to a release from Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, a free mobile grocery store is set to begin operation in Petersburg as a result of a partnership between Amazon, Anthem, Bon Secours and Comcast.
The mobile grocery store was built by Goodr, a Georgia-based company which has been feeding food-insecure people and keeping food and organic material out of landfills since 2017. Goodr had served nearly 30 million meals to people in need and diverted 12 millions pounds of food and organic materials from landfills in 2022.
“Goodr is so proud of the services and assistance our Goodr Mobile Grocery Store has been able to provide in food deserts all over Georgia since its unveiling earlier this year,” said Goodr Founder and CEO Jasmine Crowe-Houston. “This new partnership with the Amazon team enables Goodr to offer those same relief services to the many food insecure areas across Virginia. We are both excited for this new expansion and grateful to Amazon for continuing to share our vision of ending our nation’s hunger crisis.”
Many Petersburg residents live in “food deserts,” or areas that lack access to full grocery stores. According to the USDA, a “relatively high number” of households have no car and are located over a half-mile from the nearest supermarket in all but three of Petersburg’s census tracts.
This lack of access to grocery stores is part of what contributed to Petersburg being ranked the worst locality in Virginia for health outcomes by the University of Wisconsin last year.
“Petersburg thanks Amazon and the other sponsors for their proactive steps in addressing the food desert issue in the city,” said Mayor Sam Parham. “The launch of the mobile food truck is significant to providing access to fresh and healthy foods in our neighborhoods. This initiative acts as an interim solution while the city continues its efforts to attract more grocery stores to Petersburg.”
The release did not say when the mobile grocery store will launch, how long it will operate in Petersburg or which areas of the city it will visit.