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Grabango Pledges 1% of Its Efforts to Eliminate Food Deserts

March 29th, 2022

BERKELEY, Calif. (MARCH 29, 2022) Grabango, the leader in checkout-free technology for large chain retailers, is committing 1% of its grocery technology and 1% of its employees’ time to eliminating food deserts and improving access to healthy food in underserved communities. Grabango is proud to join Pledge 1%, a global movement to inspire, educate, and empower every company to leverage their assets for good.

Through its pledge, Grabango is donating 1% of its checkout-free grocery installations to the low- and moderate-income neighborhoods that have historically operated as food deserts. In addition, Grabango is also donating 1% of its employees’ time to work on these and other projects affecting food security in our communities.

“So much of modern technology is built for the wealthy first, and only eventually trickles down for use in our broader society. At Grabango, we’re seeking to do just the opposite. We want to benefit those most in need by donating our technology for use in the neighborhoods with the fewest nutritional resources. Working in partnership with the Pledge 1% movement on this objective was a natural fit for us,” said Will Glaser, CEO of Grabango.

Food deserts are geographic areas where residents live without practical access to the healthy, economical food typically carried in grocery stores. As a result, residents must rely on fast food options or prepackaged snacks from corner liquor stores. While these items offer caloric sustenance, they are often high in saturated fats, salt, and refined sugars, and have been shown to have a negative impact on a variety of health outcomes.

Grabango’s technology enables stores on the periphery of food deserts to remain in operation and empowers retailers to open new ones within the hearts of these zones. Retailers want to operate wherever there are consumers, and consumers want quality food at an affordable price. Grabango is sharing the technology that allows these two to come together sustainably. 

“We’re honored to partner with Grabango to further their efforts to promote community wellness by generously committing employee time and product to improve the lives of millions of people in need of nutritious food at a reasonable price,” said Amy Lesnick, Chief Executive and President of Pledge 1%. “Grabango is an amazing role model for other purpose-driven companies striving to leverage their own unique strengths and ecosystem to generate meaningful impact. Together, we’re building a vibrant movement – and companies like Grabango are key to making this a reality.”

While Grabango built its checkout-free system principally to allow shoppers to skip the lines in grocery stores, the same technology also serves to meaningfully reduce the scourge of food deserts. “Grabango’s checkout-free technology has the potential to help grocers operate in communities without adequate fresh food,” said Katelyn McCarthy, Discover Financial Services VP Strategy and Business Development for Payments. “Grabango is a partner that we enthusiastically support, especially in its efforts to address the many challenges presented by food deserts.”

Grabango is built using sophisticated computer vision and artificial intelligence technology. “Artificial Intelligence is a powerful tool that’s viewed with great trepidation by so many.  Grabango is a rare example in retail of AI being used to positively impact people’s lives in such a direct way,” said Mark Nitzberg, Executive Director of the Center for Human-compatible AI.  

The impact a grocery store has on local communities expands beyond access to affordable nutrition. “By enabling full service grocery stores to operate in areas that have been considered food deserts in the past, Grabango’s technology effectively transforms these zones into fertile ground for new commerce that can anchor a broader redevelopment of local businesses,” says Glaser.   


About Grabango

Grabango is the leading provider of checkout-free technology for existing, large-scale store chains. Grabango delivers a next-generation shopper experience and is the only enterprise-class, checkout-free solution deployed at multiple store chains coast to coast. The Grabango platform is a fault-tolerant, edge computing network that accurately processes millions of simultaneous transactions. The system places no limits on who can enter the store, what can be sold there, or how the shelving is configured. For more information, visit

About Pledge 1%

Pledge 1% is a global movement that inspires, educates, and empowers every entrepreneur, company, and employee to be a force for good. Over 15,000 members in 100 countries around the world have used Pledge 1%’s flexible framework to ignite billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours in new philanthropy. To learn more about Pledge 1%, and how your company can get involved, visit

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