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Kapor Capital Supports Thrive Market’s Push for Online Food Stamp Usage

Jul 18, 2016 by Eric Wingerter

At Kapor Capital we’re proud investors in Thrive Market, a membership e-commerce platform on a mission to make the world’s highest quality natural and organic products affordable for every family. Thanks to its Thrive Gives program, in which the company donates a free membership to a low-income household for every paid membership, many families have the opportunity to receive healthy groceries directly to their home.

Thrive understands and embodies our mission of closing gaps of access, opportunity, and/or outcomes.  Specifically, they give lower income people access to healthy foods in their communities. Thrive Market has also shown its belief in our mission through its work with the Summer Math and Science Honors Academy (SMASH), a free, STEM-intensive, college preparatory program for underrepresented high school students of color. We are working with them to provide our SMASH families with stipends for purchases on the site to help make healthy living more accessible. Thrive’s founders, from underrepresented backgrounds, are also eager to come speak to the SMASH Scholars, talking to them about opportunities to build tech companies aimed at solving real problems.  

For more systemic change to food access, Thrive’s giving team has been working with the USDA for more than a year-and-a-half to help the 46 million Americans receiving food stamp assistance use their benefits online, with limited progress. Currently, food stamps can only be used in brick-and-mortar stores. For the nearly 23.5 million people who live in food deserts, that means the options to use their food stamps are limited. They might live hours from the nearest grocery store that accepts food stamps!

If food stamps could be redeemed online—with the same rules that apply when buying in stores—so many more individuals would have the opportunity to purchase healthier foods that suit their dietary needs. Nearly 75 percent of people who live at or below the poverty line have internet access, while only 24 percent have access to a car.

Kapor Capital is partnering with Thrive Market in asking the USDA to make food stamps redeemable online. If you want to join us, sign Thrive Market’s petition at ThriveAction.org to help us improve food stamp usage and make healthier food more accessible to those who need it the most.

Current supporters include Matthew McConaughey, Rosario Dawson, Russell Simmons, and Arianna Huffington, as well as the Huffington Post, Mic, Clif Bar, Seventh Generation, and our own partners: Mitch & Freada Kapor, Ben Jealous, and Brian Dixon, as well as our team.

Thrive Market and its campaign lies at the heart of what we at Kapor Capital firmly believe: we need to do more to help those who are denied access to opportunities that those with more resources or wealth already have. With this effort, we’re taking another step to give millions of Americans access to a service that they are denied only because of their income.
Thrive Market’s petition is online at ThriveAction.org.