UNITED STATES: Amidst the staggering statistic that one in six Hispanic individuals in the United States faces food insecurity, entrepreneur Ashley Tyrner emerges as a beacon of hope, actively combating racial disparities embedded in the country’s food access landscape. The root cause of these disparities, experts argue, lies in systemic issues compounded by a substantial pay gap, heightened unemployment rates, and the relentless rise in inflation within the Hispanic community.
Tyrner’s journey to address this crisis began in 2015, marked by the challenges of securing venture capital funding. Despite facing skepticism about her “lack of education,” she pivoted to bootstrap her company, FarmboxRx, igniting a transformative path in the fight against food insecurity.
As the founder and CEO of FarmboxRx, Tyrner not only places healthy foods on more tables by partnering with Medicare/Medicaid insurance providers but also empowers individuals to leverage nutritious foods to address chronic and diet-related illnesses. Through educational resources, the company teaches self-care, nutritious meal preparation, and the adoption of a healthy lifestyle, firmly believing in the healing power of food to enhance mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
Earlier this year, the expiration of pandemic-era SNAP benefits posed a significant setback for millions of Hispanic households, intensifying the struggle to put food on the table. Drawing from her own experiences, Tyrner understands the reliance on these benefits, the challenge of stretching SNAP dollars, and the heartbreak of being unable to provide for one’s family.
Fortunate in her changed circumstances, Tyrner leverages her lived experiences as an economically disadvantaged Latina to authentically advocate for others in need. This sense of responsibility prompted the launch of “Feed by FarmboxRx,” an application-based program designed to supply nutritious foods to those affected by benefit cuts. The initiative received an overwhelming response, with over 2,000 applications, and 200 selected recipients will receive six weeks of FarmboxRx boxes containing fresh produce and pantry staples, delivered to their doorsteps each month.
Tyrner reflects on her entrepreneurial journey, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of nearly 2 million members. Her mission to inspire change and amplify the voices of the unheard remains unwavering, turning adversity into advocacy and providing a lifeline for those navigating the complex landscape of food insecurity.