Today’s news:

Fresh Direct now delivering to every zip code in the borough

Bronx Times

The Bronx is getting a nutritional shot in the arm.Fresh Direct will now be delivering directly to every zip code in the borough.

Deliveries to the added zip codes began on Monday.

As part of the expansion, the company is promoting a Bronx grand opening sale with discounts of up to 50 percent on popular items, plus new customer discounts of $25 for all Bronx residents.

It partnered earlier this year with Gov. Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg, and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. to announce the leading fresh food Internet grocer will invest $112.6 million to build its new headquarters at the Harlem River Yards.

The move will create 1,000 new jobs, retain 2,000 existing ones, as well as 684 construction jobs to build it’s new headquarters.

Fresh Direct also announced it has secured approval for a new Bronx experimental program it hopes will change federal policy that now keeps food stamp recipients from using their benefits to purchase groceries over the Internet.

Electronic Benefits Transfer, the system that allows recipients to pay for groceries, does not support Internet transactions.

Fresh Direct was unable to accept food stamps, prompting them to ask the United States Department of Agriculture to approve the pilot program to allow it to serve a test segment of Food Stamp beneficiaries in the Bronx.

The USDA approved the pilot program last week.

Fresh Direct will announce the pilot deployment launch date, delivery locations, and other program details as they become available.

“As we continue to grow and create jobs in New York City, we are thrilled that we are now able to serve the entire Bronx and provide residents there with convenient access to quality, fresh foods,” said Jason Ackerman, CEO of Fresh Direct. “This expansion is part of our larger effort to find ways to enable all New Yorkers to lead healthy lifestyles.”

“Throughout the relocation process, Fresh Direct has been focused on the needs of Bronx residents, so much so that the company signed a comprehensive memorandum of understanding with my office outlining their commitment to the Bronx on service expansion, accepting food stamps, local hiring and other key concerns,” said Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

He said the agreement “shows Fresh Direct is ready to live up to those commitments ahead of schedule, years before making the Bronx their home. I am pleased with Fresh Direct’s plans to expand its delivery zones to every corner of the boro. Ultimately, this move will offer residents increased healthy grocery options.”

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