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Baltimarket: Fresh Food in Urban Food Deserts

Baltimarket allows Baltimore residents who live in food deserts to order groceries online at a local public library or school. A local supermarket delivers the groceries to the library the following day at no additional cost.

Photo of Lauren P.  Adams
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Baltimarket, a virtual supermarket program of the Baltimore City Health Department, allows Baltimore residents who live in food deserts to order groceries online at a nearby public library or school. A local supermarket delivers the groceries to the library the following day at no delivery cost to the customers.

While it doesn't exclusively promote certain foods, Baltimarket provides all sorts of incentives to its customers to encourage healthy eating. Customers are given $10 toward fresh produce on every fourth order or for every new customer referral.

Many of the design choices of Baltimarket were made based on customer feedback. Its name, the graphic design, and the program times were all democratically determined. In the Baltimore summer heat, a few loyal customers complained that their ice cream was melting on their walk home from the library. In response, Baltimarket printed reusable insulated bags for residents to transport groceries.

Baltimarket may not be a long-term solution to fix Baltimore's food deserts, but its customers appreciate saving travel time and expense. It adds vibrancy to Baltimore by connecting residents to fresh food.

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Photo of Meena

Interesting to note the motivational features you've mentioned here ($10 voucher) Certainly something to consider as we enter the upcoming Concepting phase – these kinds of nudges could influence behaviour across all kinds of initiatives.

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