Feature: Grocery store working to stop food insecurity in Brooklyn neighborhood
BAY RIDGE, Brooklyn (PIX11) — Three Guys from Brooklyn in Bay Ridge is making strides to put an end to food insecurity in the community. For the first time, customers on government assistance can finally use their benefits to access fresh food delivered to their doors.
For some, shopping in person is convenient. But for many struggling families, making the trip isn’t easy.
According to City Harvest, since the COVID-19 outbreak, nearly 1.5 million New Yorkers are experiencing food insecurity, including one in four children. In Brooklyn alone, there are over 400,000 Brooklyn residents affected by food insecurity.
As of December 2021, there were nearly 2.8 million Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program recipients across New York, about an 8% increase from the same month in 2019, according to the state’s Office of Temporary and Disability Service.
The local grocery store has been a part of the fabric in Bay Ridge for 23 years, and that’s why owner Philip Penta said he came up with a plan to do something to help families in need. He teamed up with Instacart to make it happen.
For the first time, the store will accept EBT — Electronic Benefits Transfer — for same-day delivery. It’s been two weeks and he’s already noticing an uptick in sales.
The program is a win-win; it also proves that providing better access to healthy affordable food, builds at stronger and healthier community, Penta said.