Good Food at Home: Milwaukee Families Get Groceries Fresh & Fast

“When you eat fresh vegetables or fresh fruit, you get this burst of energy!” said Jeanette Bultman-Mercado with a big smile.

At home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Jeanette (a bilingual teacher) and her husband, Marco Mercado (a welder), are committed to feeding their family nutritious foods. However, like many U.S. families, the couple has demanding jobs, precocious kids, and are facing rising grocery prices.

To assist hardworking families like Jeanette and Marco’s, Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) brought the Good Food at Home program to Milwaukee this winter, providing participants $60 a month in Instacart Health Fresh Funds produce credits for three months, plus free delivery through Instacart.

In collaboration with Instacart, Wisconsin Early Childhood Association (WECA), and LifeWays Early Childhood Center, PHA’s program helped more Milwaukee families keep their pantries stocked over the cold winter months.

Healthy Living Starts with Healthy Food

“The first five years of life are a critical time for both brain and physical development,” explained Catherine Hansen, a food systems coordinator with Wisconsin Early Childhood Association. ”Providing access to these fresh foods can help improve outcomes for children for a lifetime.”

Jaimmie Stugard agreed. “The work of a very young child is building their body, and nutrients are a huge part of that.” A KinderHouse teacher and the Director of LifeWays Early Childhood Center, Jaimmie maintains healthy eating as a core tenet of her programming. “In everything we do, we try our very best to emulate a healthy home life. We cook together, we eat together, we tidy up together, we fold laundry together, and we do lots and lots of playing!”

Jaimmie Stugard, Director of LifeWays Early Childhood Center

“The work of a very young child is building their body, and nutrients are a huge part of that.” – Jaimmie Stugard, LifeWays Early Childhood Center

Many participants told Catherine that Good Food at Home became “a family shopping experience. They’d look at Instacart together and pick out new foods they wanted to try,” she described. “Some families shared that they were able to shift their family’s eating habits over the course of the program.”

Good Food at Home Gave Families More than Groceries

Getting produce delivered by Instacart had never been a consideration for Jeanette and Marco. “I thought [grocery delivery] was a little bit lazy, I have to admit,” said Jeanette. “But it turns out that it was really convenient!” Now, she tells busy parents not to rule out grocery delivery as a tremendous time saver. “Of all the things in our lives, time is the most precious, isn’t it?”

“Of all the things in our lives, time is the most precious, isn’t it?” – Jeanette Bultman-Mercado, Milwaukee Good Food at Home participant

Catherine also witnessed the many advantages offered by PHA’s program. “It eliminated the time constraints that it might take to go shopping after a long day, as well as any transportation barriers that families have. Good Food at Home made it so easy for families to access fresh fruits and vegetables!”

Every Family Deserves Access to Whole, Healthy Foods

Through Good Food at Home and other PHA programs, more than 34 million servings of fruits and vegetables have made their way into homes across 55 U.S. cities since 2020 — and we’re not done yet! We’re working tirelessly to turn every city into a Good Food City, where produce is popular and accessible.

“Healthy fruits and vegetables are very important to a lot of our families. They are willing—and are often required—to sacrifice to make that happen for their family,” acknowledges Jaimmie. “With Good Food at Home, they weren’t required to sacrifice as much to buy more fruits and vegetables that they and their children love.”

Our Work In Motion