Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8 is home to more than 85,000 citizens. Its community has the lowest median income, highest food insecurity rate, highest poverty rate, and highest rates of obesity in the capital. Currently, there is only one grocery store in Ward 8 – Giant Food.
To have an impact, Giant Food refurbished the store’s Health and Wellness space and hired registered dietitian and nutritionist Jillian Griffith. Griffith partnered with local fitness organizations such as the YMCA and Full Body Fitness, whose instructors now come to the store to teach free fitness classes. Griffith offers free educational courses such as “Eating Healthy on a Budget,” “Eating for Heart Health” and “Food is Medicine.” She also engages with the local community in Ward 8, participating in “Joyful Food Markets” with food pantry Martha’s Table, distributing food and giving nutritional advice to food insecure citizens.
Beginning this spring, Giant Food and DC Greens launched the Produce Rx program. When an individual living in Ward 8 visits a doctor’s office and is found to be food insecure, the doctor will provide a prescription to the Produce Rx program. The individual then provides the prescription to the pharmacist in our Ward 8 store, and in turn is provided with a $20 coupon to use each week to buy fresh produce.
In 2018, Giant Food launched Guiding Stars, the world’s first store-wide nutrition navigation program aimed at taking the guesswork out of nutrition by decoding labels into one clear rating. The program guides customers toward foods that have more vitamins, minerals, fiber, omega-3’s, and whole grains – and less trans-fat, saturated fat, added sodium, added sugar and artificial colors.
One Guiding Star indicates good nutritional value, Two Guiding Stars are better and Three Guiding Stars is the best nutritional value – creating an easy starting point and guide for those looking for healthier options. Guiding Stars is a complement to the HowGood rating system that Giant Food rolled out last year. This system rates products based on factors ranging from ingredient sourcing to labor practices – further empowering customers to make informed and healthy choices they can feel good about.
At Giant Food, we believe investing in the health and education of our children is an investment in the health and well-being of our communities.
In partnership with our customers, Giant Food has raised more than $21 million for the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and the Children’s Cancer Foundation to support their fight to cure pediatric cancer. The contributions help pay for life-saving research and discovery treatments that enable hundreds of children to live healthier, longer lives.
We are honored to support our veterans and the men and women serving in the military. Together with our customers and associates, Giant Food donated more than $1 million in 2019 to fund programs like the USO’s Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, which provides financial assistance and resources to our troops and their families in times of need.