Lexi Leitner-Cohen


Food deserts are a major problem in the US for both urban and rural areas, where access to food is limited by a lack of affordable products and is not within a reasonable distance of the impacted community; forcing folks who live in food deserts to depend on incredibly liminal fresh produce selections of mini-marts and fast food, or take on excessive transportation and delivery costs to access full range food stores. The issue of hunger in food deserts is compounded by poverty, wherein many of the people living in food deserts depend upon food subsidy payment programs (such as SNAP/EBT) in order to afford basic necessities. The current use of EBT payments with current digital solutions is time-consuming and difficult.

My solution design took the form of The CO/OP, where users can access fresh produce, order for delivery to a centralized pick-up area, and all salable items are qualified for EBT purchasing if they so choose to use their SNAP benefits to pay. This product aims to help increase fresh produce access in food deserts, as well as minimize the shame and stigma around using food subsidy payments, all the while showing that not only is affordable food access a right, but it is also something that should be a dignified experience.

UX Design (MPS) Students