SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Instacart, the leading online grocery platform in North America, today announced the nationwide launch of a new COVID-19 Vaccine Support Stipend. Available to shift leads, in-store shoppers, and full-service shoppers beginning February 1, the new Vaccine Support Stipend provides eligible shoppers and in-store teams in the U.S. and Canada with financial assistance as they take time away from Instacart to get vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition to the Vaccine Support Stipend, the company is also redistributing free personal protective equipment (PPE) to any shopper in need throughout the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic. These are just the latest steps in Instacart's ongoing commitment to supporting its shopper and in-store communities.
"Since the start of the pandemic, the health and safety of the entire Instacart community has been our top priority. With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise across the country, we're taking proactive steps to advocate that government agencies recognize Instacart shoppers as critical essential workers who deserve early access to vaccines," said Apoorva Mehta, Founder and CEO of Instacart. "Our goal with the introduction of our new Vaccine Support Stipend is to ensure that, when the time comes, Instacart shoppers don't have to choose between earning income as an essential service provider or getting vaccinated. As the fight against COVID-19 stretches into 2021, we're committed to supporting our shoppers and continuing to serve as a lifeline for millions of people across North America."
Last spring, Instacart worked closely with state and federal officials to ensure Instacart shoppers were considered essential workers as they continue supporting families and communities across the country in the wake of COVID-19. More recently, Instacart called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all 50 governors, and state and local elected leaders to support those who have delivered life's necessities throughout the pandemic and follow the essential worker designation again by including grocery delivery workers for early access to the COVID-19 vaccines.
As states and provinces begin their phased vaccine rollouts, eligible shoppers will receive a $25 Vaccine Support Stipend. In addition to introducing the Vaccine Support Stipend, Instacart is also redistributing free PPE to any shopper in need and will continue to do so throughout the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic. Shoppers can request a free health and safety kit, including a face mask and hand sanitizer, directly from their Shopper app or website. These kits include a multi-layer face mask that is washable and reusable, and a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer that will ship directly to shoppers with a leak-proof seal. To date, Instacart has distributed more than 620,000 free health and safety kits to shoppers, with more kits shipping every week.
As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting its shopper community, last year Instacart introduced a number of health and safety tools for shoppers, including daily in-app wellness checks, free telemedicine consultations, a COVID-19 Resource Center, safety supply kits, health guidelines, new sick leave policies, pay for those shoppers affected by COVID-19, and thank you bonuses to support shoppers. Additionally, the company has consulted with the CDC to refine policies, products, and education, as well as consulted with a team of health and safety experts, including an epidemiologist, a distinguished professor specializing in microbial risk modeling, and a medical doctor specializing in infectious diseases. Instacart will continue to advocate for shopper safety and well-being with the federal and state governments and other key stakeholders, as well as provide additional resources for shoppers.
Instacart is the leading online grocery platform in North America. Instacart shoppers offer same-day delivery and pickup services to bring fresh groceries and everyday essentials to busy people and families across the U.S. and Canada. Instacart has partnered with more than 500 beloved national, regional and local retailers, including unique brand names, to deliver from nearly 40,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in North America. Instacart's delivery service is available to 85% of U.S. households and 70% of Canadian households. The company's cutting-edge enterprise technology also powers the ecommerce platforms of some of the world's biggest retail players, supporting their white-label websites, applications and delivery solutions. Instacart offers an Instacart Express membership that includes reduced service fees and unlimited free delivery on orders over $35. For more information, visit www.instacart.com. For anyone interested in becoming an Instacart shopper, visit https://shoppers.instacart.com/.