Tangelo, in partnership with Wholesale Wave, has developed an app that makes it possible for low-income families to order fruit and vegetables for free.
Food deserts are areas where access to nutritious and affordable food is limited. Los Angeles is known to have many of these so-called food deserts where there is hardly a grocery store that you can find to buy fresh food.
In collaboration with nonprofit organization Wholesome Wave, Tangelo was created and launched in L.A. to provide these neighborhoods access to fresh food, especially during a crisis. Tangelo is an app that makes it possible for people to place orders for fruits and vegetables for home delivery, and that service is provided for free.
Wholesome Wave founder Michel Nischan said that the term "food desert" becomes meaningless when healthy food gets delivered to your doorstep, according to a report by Fast Company. How it works is local organizations identify the most vulnerable and low-income community members. They are then asked to download the Tangelo app, and once approved, each will be provided with $40 per month, which they use to order produce deliveries for six months.
Tangelo offers users with a choice of fresh food. Users can also take a food quiz, which gives incentives for more vegetables and fruits. The nonprofits can then use this anonymous data to help improve their nutrition programs. There are also plans for Tangelo to allow users to link the app to their health records.
Tangelo CEO and founder Jeremy Cooley said that Tangelo is heavily focused on outcomes. He said that to really drive change, organizations should be able to measure the effects or outcomes of their program to the community. Measuring such outcomes is what Tangelo's technology can make a reality.
Wholesome Wave is also working to raise more funds, so beneficiaries get provided with longer-term support, and more families can benefit. Wholesome Wave with the help of corporate donors, including Naked, has partnered with Tangelo to further increase access to fruit and vegetables, focusing this time on home delivery, specifically in areas with little access to nutritious food.
Tangelo was launched last January 2020 but has become more relevant now due to the pandemic, the Fast Company report noted. Nischan said the project gives nutrition-insecure people the financial means to purchase food that they need to avoid diet-related diseases that are hospitalizing and killing people with COVID-19 at the highest rate.
Diabetes, for example, exposes people with a greater risk of dying if they are already suffering from this disease and become infected with the coronavirus. Nischan added the health crisis had left a lot of people struggling to afford groceries.