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Lyft Offering Cheap Rides To Help Families In Food Deserts

Photo: Kevin Grieve on Unsplash, Unsplash License[/caption]

The food desert problem in the U.S. originates in socio-structural issues that will require work from the ground up. For those of us who are new to the term, food deserts are defined as parts of the country that lack easy access to grocery stores containing healthful foods and vegetables. This is a complicated issue primarily affecting poor socioeconomic neighborhoods where transportation and resources are limited. Fast food restaurants litter these neighborhoods and contribute to the obesity epidemic as the only readily available, affordable, and easy options.

Wards 7 and 8 of Washington, D.C. are a perfect example of this, with only three grocery stores unrealistically expected to serve over 150,000 residents. About 81% of these residents are living in a food desert, more than the rest of D.C. combined. The majority of these people are living under the poverty line with Ward 7’s median income at $45,469 and Ward 8’s at $32,967. There’s plenty that needs to be addressed, but the rideshare company, Lyft, is taking the first step by partnering with Martha’s Table to try and bridge this gap.

Beginning January 1, Lyft will be offering grocery rides for only $2.50 to qualifying families. Families only need a child that is attending one of the seven participating elementary schools or is a part of Martha’s Table’s educational programming to be eligible for this program. Five hundred families will be selected to receive 50 rides each over the course of six months in an attempt to alleviate some of their daily stresses. The estimated cost for a family is $5 for a roundtrip a week.

Though Washington D.C. is a small reflection of the millions of people in the U.S. living in food deserts, this program has the potential to do a lot of good and hopefully inspire more action in the future.

More details can be found on Lyft’s Grocery Access Program website.

Fast Food What's New

McDonald’s Is Now Bottling Their McCafé Frappe Drinks

Fans of McDonald’s McCafé drinks will be happy to know that they can now forego the drive-thru line and grab a handful of the drinks at a local grocery store.

The McCafé Vanilla, Caramel, and Mocha Frappes have made the move to stores, as McDonald’s is following in the steps of Starbucks with ready to drink coffee bottles.

The drinks are being distributed by the Coca-Cola company, and a press release read, “As longtime partners of McDonald’s, we look forward to working together to expand the reach and availability of McCafé coffees to more people across the country.”

Made with 100 percent Arabica beans, McDonald’s emphasized the fact that they use real milk and sugar for these popular drinks.

For those who read nutrition labels, the caramel and vanilla flavors have 260 calories per bottle, and the mocha has 270 calories.

McDonald’s revamped its McCafe lineup in early 2017, and really made a push toward the coffee line, making the drinks with a very Starbucks-esque feel.

These new bottled drinks fall in line with the idea of dipping into Starbucks’ market, being similarly sized, priced, and flavored.

The drinks do hold their own with flavor, still tasting true to the Frappes you get at the restaurant, so the transition seems smooth so far.

#foodbeast Brand Cravings FOODBEAST Products SPONSORED

This Low Carb Chicken Crust Pizza Went So Viral It’s Now In Grocery Stores Nationwide

Homemade pizzas were our jam growing up. We’d pop one in the oven and enjoy as we watched Legends of the Hidden Temple.

You may remember Real Good Foods as the company that creates ‘Real Good Pizza,” a low-carb pie that’s made with an all-natural chicken and parmesan crust, leaving it entirely gluten-free. Each serving only contains 4 grams of carbs and boasts 25 grams of protein.

The pizzas come in Uncured Pepperoni, The Supreme, and Three Cheese flavors. We tend not to pick favorites, but The Supreme is pretty damn good.

If you’re looking to grab a couple boxes for your next Friday night in, you’re in luck, because Real Good Foods just announced pizzas will be sold at all Publix Market locations across the country.

Next time you’re on the hunt for some low carb yet highly delicious pizza that’s easy to make, pick some up your local Publix and just pop it in the microwave or oven.

Pro tip: we highly recommend pairing these pies with some ranch dressing.

Created in partnership with Real Good Foods


Are Grocery Stores Going Extinct?

Woman standing in front of a row of produce in a grocery store.Photo: Shutterstock / Adam Melnyk

We don’t mean to alarm you, but a lot of grocery stores might eventually become extinct—”might” being the operative word here.

The recent influx of meal and grocery delivery services makes it easy to pick out your produce and perishables from the comfort of your couch—and have your order sent straight to your doorstep hours later. Naturally, there are a lot of perks to online shopping. You save gas and don’t have to clean your reusable shopping bags as often.

But it’s not all positive. Call us old-fashioned, but we like hand-selecting our produce, finding a milk gallon or egg carton with the best expiration date, and scarfing down some free samples. So what’s the deal? Are grocery stores actually going extinct? We’re stacking up the competition—and what your favorite grocery stores are doing to survive.

Meal Delivery Steps Up

A lot of companies are trying to become “the next grocery store.” Meal kit services like Blue Apron, HelloFresh and Purple Carrot sell boxes full of chef-tested recipes and perfectly portioned ingredients. You could argue these services take the creativity out of cooking, but if you’re strapped for time (or learning to find your way around the kitchen), they’re pretty convenient.

And then there’s the crop of grocery delivery sites. Companies like and Amazon Fresh do all the heavy lifting for you. Some sites, like Thrive Market, even cater to niche, organic-eating customers.

Simply enter your ZIP code and pick out your items and your order will be waiting at your door hours later. You’ll have to pay a small delivery fee, but it beats waiting in line for 20 minutes, right? Like it or not, this trend isn’t going away anytime soon. Online grocery sales raked in $20.5 billion in the U.S. last year alone, and is expected to reach $100 billion by 2025.

Grocery Stores Fight Back

The good news is several stores are making the necessary changes to stay afloat. Earlier this year, Amazon bought healthy eats mecca Whole Foods for $13.4 billion. Not only did Amazon slash Whole Foods’ prices by up to 43 percent, it’s now offering private Whole Foods labels (think Whole Foods Market and 365 Everyday Value) on its site.

And Whole Foods isn’t the only store making changes.

Walmart may have its roots in traditional brick-and-mortar stores, but the savings den is going head-to-head with Amazon. In addition to offering free two-day shipping, Walmart owns, which will launch a high-end grocery store on its site. And in some cities, Trader Joe’s, Fairway and Stop&Shop are delivering through platforms like Postmates, Instacart and Peapod, respectively. So it seems like grocery stores have what it takes to survive…for now. But in 20 years? Only time will tell.

While the jury may still be out on the fate of brick-and-mortar grocery stores, they’re not closing tomorrow. Not ready to give up your favorite grocery? Here are our tips for grocery shopping like a pro.

Article by Kelsey Mulvey from Taste of Home.

News Packaged Food

Investors Think Putting Whole Foods In Target Stores Is A Great Idea

Photo by Jobmouse.

I know what you’re thinking: a fancy organic-pushing grocery store like Whole Foods inside of an affordable department store like Target? When would that ever be a good idea?

Well, according to renowned investor firm Bernstein, right now would be the perfect time for the two stores to get together.

Target definitely needs some way to bounce back, and investors are looking for any and all solutions to do so. The chain of department stores suffered a huge hit last year, tumbling 35% in share prices. It’s grocery department, which is often regarded as low quality and frequently undersells, leaving food to waste on the shelf, could use some massive retooling. And while Target did bring in a top name from food manufacturer giant Kroger to help update their grocery section, they could benefit by teaming up with Whole Foods for a low-cost crossover that brings brand recognition to Target’s food offerings.

Whole Foods, on the other hand, is facing a host of problems as its position in the organic grocery store market begins to crumble. As more organic selling locations pop up, Whole Foods has begun to suffer from falling foot traffic, declines in sales, and investors that want to reevaluate the entire company structure. By placing their produce and other products inside of Target, Whole Foods doesn’t have to invest a lot of money into new growth directions and brand image improvement.

There’s also plenty of overlap between the customer bases of both stores. Food Dive reports that 65% of customers who shop at Whole Foods also shop at Target, meaning that recognition and initial traffic already exists. The convenience of getting Whole Foods-quality produce at a Target store and knocking out two shopping trips in one would definitely draw some appeal.

On paper, it sounds like a great idea. Would it actually happen though? Whole Foods would likely be down for the idea, since their investors are looking for new ideas. However, Target’s hiring of the Kroger executive signals an opposite direction, as they seem to want to solve their grocery issues by themselves.

If both companies did agree to it, though, it would be a very interesting combo store that would cause a new buzz and rejuvenate both stores’ images.

Drinks News

This Is How Two Juice Bottles Cost Dollar General Store $250,000 In A Lawsuit


Two small juice bottles were the subject of a $250,000 lawsuit at Dollar General.

Linda Akins, a cashier at the major dollar retail chain, had taken two bottles of $1.69 orange juice from the cooler at her Tennessee store to help alleviate her diabetic shock, reports KTLA News. She had later paid for the drinks, but the company had let her go because she failed to do so before opening the bottles, per their company policy.

Akins said she asked if she could keep her own juice at her register, though a supervisor denied her request due to a zero food and drink policy at the cashier station. What no one explained to her was that Dollar General had a policy that medical exceptions could be made.

On Akins’ behalf, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission sued Dollar General for $250,000.

Dollar General said that Akins already had accommodations for her where she could keep juice bottles in her apron, hidden under her register (out of camera sight), or in the break room.

Akins was awarded $27,565 in back pay and $250,000 total in damages. Dollar General, disappointed with the ruling, is currently appealing for a new trial.

Packaged Food

Whoa, Trader Joe’s Now Has A Spicy Salami SPREAD


While perusing our local Trader Joe’s, we noticed a brand-new item grace the deli meat aisle. Upon first glance, it looked like someone misplaced a stack of raw ground beef. Nope. Turns out Trader Joe’s has added a new Spicy Salami Spread to their cold cut section.

Technically, it’s called Trader Giotto’s Nduja (en-DOO-ya). Nduja is a pork salami ground into a creamy spread. It’s mixed with a bunch of spices, particularly paprika, as well as a tomato paste.

Trader Joe’s recommends spreading it on some grilled toast for the full effect.


We were too excited, however, and just grabbed a bag of tortilla chips from the spot across the street. Tasted pretty fire.

A six-ounce tub of Salami Spread goes for about $3.49 at Trader Joe’s. Might grab a fat stack of these for the holidays.


Trader Joe’s Is About To Shake Your World Up With These 11 New Foods

Whenever Trader Joe’s announces a new item, we definitely have to try it out. The specialty grocery store chain has become one of the most popular supermarkets in the country.

Though let’s be honest, the majority of our Joe’s trips ends with us leaving with something to snack on. We can get fruits and veggies, wherever.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the newest things Trader Joe’s has added to their store shelves. Here you can check out all the latest additions all at once. There are definitely some winners we’re excited to try in this batch (BUTTERNUT GYOZA!).


Chocolate Mousse Whole Milk Greek Yogurt


Abondance Cheese


Whole Wheat Butternut Squash Gyoza


Steamed Chicken Soup Dumplings


New England Clam Chowder


Autumnal Harvest Pasta Sauce


Rosemary Garlic Monkey Bread


Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Baking Mix


Pumpkin Soup


Root Juice


Seasoned Wild King Salmon on a Cedar Plank