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Mercato Launches Thriving Communities Program

Bobby Brannigan

San Diego-based Mercato, an e-commerce platform for independent grocers, has announced a new initiative to improve access to healthy foods and foster economic stability in low-income communities.

The Thriving Communities program works with local governments, private funders and nonprofits to bring more grocers onto the e-grocery platform so they can digitize their inventory, offer delivery and enable enrollment and utilization of SNAP online.

It creates what founder and CEO Bobby Brannigan calls “The Mercato Effect” – whereby grocers going online provide residents access to healthy, culturally appropriate foods and the ability to redeem public/private food benefits, which in turn creates more jobs, increases grocers’ sales and keeps dollars circulating within the community.

“As the son of an independent grocer in Brooklyn, I know first-hand how critical these independent, local grocers are to the economic and social well-being of their communities,” Brannigan said.

“They are the lifeline for so many residents to get fresh, healthy, culturally relevant foods without having to travel far or wait weeks to go to the market. By giving local grocers the tools and technologies to operate online, they can increase their own revenue and fuel healthier ecosystems throughout the country.”

New York was the first city to partner with Mercato, using the platform to test a technological pilot that offered subsidized groceries to a cohort of New Yorkers. 

“Getting onto the Mercato platform was game-changing for our store and our shoppers,” said Gustavo Rodriguez of Key Food Stadium, located in the Bronx.

“Our sales are increasing literally every day, especially fresh produce, and the technology and service Mercato provides enables us to fulfill orders with the same personal attention and care that our shoppers need and deserve. It feels incredible to be feeding and helping low-income residents in our community.”

Mercato is looking to expand the Thriving Communities platform by finding and collaborating with partners in other cities including ChicagoBostonBaltimorePhiladelphia and Los Angeles.

For more about the platform, the impact it can have and how to get involved, visit mercato.com/thrive.

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