Baltimore expands virtual supermarket program

Baltimore is expanding a program where people in areas with limited access to healthy foods can order groceries on the Internet and pick up their purchase at a designated place in their neighborhood.

The two-year-old Virtual Supermarket Program which operates from three Enoch Pratty Library branches, will now be offered at some senior centers and residences for the disabled.

Residents will be able to pick up groceries at Perkins Homes, Monument East, Mount Clare Overlook Building and the Cherry Hill Senior Manor.

As part of the new effort run by the Baltimore City Health Department, residents will be trained to help operate the pick up sites and assist other residents in ordering their groceries using computers provided by the city.

Santoni’s grocery store in Highlandtown will deliver orders to a central, indoor area within each housing development. The health department pays the delivering charge, making it affordable for low-income residents.

The Virtual Supermarket Program expansion is funded by the  United Way of Central Maryland and the Aetna Foundation. The program started two years ago with $60,000 in federal stimulus money.


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