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Lyft is offering $2.50 rides to grocery stores for DC residents with limited food choices

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Lyft is partnering with a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC to give rides to local families living in food deserts. The pilot program will offer some families access to heavily discounted, shared Lyft rides to grocery stores.

The partnership, with the nonprofit Martha’s Table, hopes to reduce time and effort spent shopping for food. For $2.50, qualifying families can ride to and from the limited number of grocery stores in their region, including Safeway, Giant, and Martha’s Table’s lobby market. The discount can’t be used on rides going to any other destinations.

To qualify for the program, the household must have children zoned in one of the few elementary schools that Lyft and Martha’s Table have agreed to cover. The program is being piloted from January to June and is only available in DC’s Wards 7 and 8 for up to 500 families that will be initially invited to try it.

While the program appears to be very useful to the families who do qualify, the scope of who can participate and where is limited for now. Lyft and Uber are gearing up to launch initial public offerings early next year, and before they do, both are ramping up efforts to be better perceived by the public.