No one lives in a "book desert," so why do people still live in food deserts?
There are many apps, sites, and stores who allow you to get groceries delivered to your home. So, why do food deserts, or healthy food priority areas - areas with insufficient healthy food options - still exist?
That's the question my friends at Denver Food Rescue and I started asking in 2015. Through lots of conversations with people who live in food deserts, we determined four main reasons food delivery technology has not solved this problem:
1) Cost: Grocery delivery is expensive, and living in a food desert does not only have to do with distance to a grocery store. It also has to do with income, and if you're having trouble affording food in the first place, you are less likely to pay extra to have it delivered.
2) Language: As it stands, grocery delivery is mainly for wealthy, white, English speakers. If you don't fit into these categories, the brand probably does not speak to you (literally).
3) Technology: Many residents of food deserts, especially older adults, have barriers to technology use, rendering a app-based grocery delivery platform useless.
4) Payment: Most grocery delivery services accept only one form of payment: credit/debit, which can be problematic for people using SNAP (food stamps), or those who prefer to use cash or check.
With all this in mind, we created Abarrotes Bondadosa, the most accessible, affordable, culturally appropriate grocery delivery business.
Bondadosa is now in the early stages of operation, making deliveries in select zip codes in the Denver Metro Area. The future is bright for this social enterprise, which aims to be the "Latino Instacart." Not only does it have an amazing, high energy team and the helm, but the time is right for this concept. Over the coming decade, we will all be purchasing more of our groceries online. Meanwhile, the Latino population will be growing significantly in the US. Bondadosa seeks to scale nationwide, providing better access to groceries and goods to customers in communities all around the country.
I currently serve as the President of the Board for Bondadosa.