It’s in the DNA of Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) to solve problems, and the reality of food deserts in communities across the nation is one that has its attention. Through Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity (CARE), the company has committed $800,000 in transformational grant funding to develop and launch mobile grocery markets. With these markets, CARE is taking action to combat the impact of food deserts in Indianapolis, Indiana; Jamestown, New York, Charleston, South Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
The United States is one of the richest nations in the world, yet about 10.5%, or 13.8 million Americans experience food insecurity, which is the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) about 19 million Americans or 33%, live in a food desert, which the USDA defines as living more than one mile away from a supermarket for urban areas, or greater than 10 miles for rural areas. In communities of color and low-income areas, many residents don’t have cars, and in many cases lack reliable public transportation. Additionally, many urban communities have small neighborhood stores in a reasonable distance, however, residents pay up to 37% more than suburban communities where residents have access to traditional supermarkets.
A mobile grocery provides healthy food options by modifying school buses, city buses, large vans, trucks, etc. that can house healthy food options and transport them to needed neighborhoods. Mobile grocery markets are often run by local organizations and/or community members, which circulate revenue within the local economy and can serve as a catalyst for other businesses and investments in the neighborhoods. Additionally, the mobility allows outreach to multiple neighborhoods and can be more effective than storefronts.
Within six CARE communities, Cummins Involvement Teams (CIT) are working closely with the following local partners to support mobile grocery efforts and drive impacts:
Charleston, S.C. - Charleston Low County Street Grocery
- Launched March 2021
- Provides weekly nutrition and cooking classes
- Mobile grocery stop planned at Charleston Turbo Plant (CTP)
- Began GroceryRx, an evidence-based healthy food prescription program
Nashville, Tenn. - West Nashville Dream Center
- Launched December 2021
- Acquired a new refrigerated truck to rescue and distribute more fresh foods
- Food is being distributed within four identified sites, expanding to five by the end of 2022
Jamestown, N.Y. - Jamestown Public Market
- Launched June 15
- Served over 350 individuals
- Formed additional partnerships with local agencies to distribute more fresh produce
- Indianapolis, Ind. - Indianapolis Eskenazi Health Foundation
- Minneapolis, Minn. - Minneapolis Community Emergency Assistance Program
- Rocky Mount, N.C. – local partner TBD
CARE will continue monitoring and evaluating the progress of the mobile grocery markets to explore future partnerships. These efforts will ultimately drive improvements in equity, economic stability, sustainability and access, as these current communities pave the way.
About Cummins Inc.
Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from diesel, natural gas, electric and hybrid powertrains and powertrain-related components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, batteries, electrified power systems, hydrogen generation and fuel cell products. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana since its founding in 1919, Cummins employs approximately 59,900 people committed to powering a more prosperous world through three global corporate responsibility priorities critical to healthy communities: education, environment and equality of opportunity. Cummins serves its customers online, through a network of company-owned and independent distributor locations, and through thousands of dealer locations worldwide and earned about $2.1 billion on sales of $24 billion in 2021.
In 2020, Cummins introduced CARE: Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity, a U.S. strategic community initiative focused on dismantling institutional racism and creating system equity. CARE is working in four specific areas: police reform, criminal justice reform, economic empowerment, and social justice reform. Cummins is committed to the kind of long-term approach necessary to effectively address issues like institutional racism and systemic inequities.
Learn more at cummins.com.