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City opens 14th virtual supermarket

The city has opened its 14th virtual supermarket at Ruscombe Gardens, a low-income housing complex in Northwest Baltimore.

Under the virtual supermarket program, the city partners with Klein’s Family Markets to offer online grocery ordering and delivery at Baltimore senior apartment buildings, which are often in areas with few healthy food options. The program also encourages corner stores to sell more nutritious foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

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Online grocery shopping is seen as a way to make healthy foods more accessible to areas with a dearth of grocery stores.

Last year, Maryland became one of seven states chosen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to participate in a two-year pilot program to allow food stamp recipients to buy groceries online for the first time.

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“It is difficult to ask people to keep healthy when they don’t have options to do so,” Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said in a statement. “With the support of our partners and generous organizations, we can invest in solutions to the critical issue of food access and work together to level the playing field so that our older adults can choose healthy options to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.”

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