Mid-Ohio Food Collective (MOFC) is launching a new service allowing customers to conveniently pick up healthy foods – secured in a refrigerated locker – at times most convenient to them. Similar to secure pick-up locker systems used by some upscale grocery stores, the new service will let shoppers access fresh produce and other perishable items for free and at times that work for their schedules.
The refrigerated locker service for customers is the first of its kind for MOFC and will be located at the Mid-Ohio Market at Norton Road (620 Norton Road) on Columbus’ far westside. The service will be free to qualifying shoppers and is designed for people who cannot otherwise access MOFC’s network of food providers in the area. After customers order online, they are assigned a locker number, a pick-up timeframe, and a PIN to access their food. Orders are kept safely refrigerated and secured until customers arrive.
“This system will make it easier for working families in Columbus to get fresh, healthy food at times that work for their busy schedules,” said Mid-Ohio Food Collective President and CEO Matt Habash. “When healthy food options are convenient, more people can use and benefit from them. The result is better health outcomes for the community.”
The refrigerated lockers installed at the Mid-Ohio Market at Norton Road were made possible by an investment from Humana Healthy Horizons, a health plan that manages Medicaid benefits for nearly 95,000 Ohioans. Humana Healthy Horizon’s partnership with MOFC includes commitments of more than $1.25 million focusing on “food is health” initiatives to end hunger by addressing social determinants of food insecurity and poverty.
“Humana Healthy Horizons is committed to eliminating the barriers that impact the health of the communities we serve,” said Kathie Mancini, vice president, Humana Healthy Horizons – Ohio. “By working with MOFC on vital programs like this one, we can help ensure everyone in the mid-Ohio region has access to healthy, nourishing food.”
MOFC and Humana Healthy Horizons held a public launch event at the Norton Road market Oct. 10. The locker service has been in a test phase with a limited number of customers for several months. The launch event marked its availability to the wider community with capacity to improve fresh food access for approximately three dozen families each day.
Mid-Ohio Food Collective is the largest hunger relief organization in central and eastern Ohio. Learn more at www.mofc.org.