The Salvation Army’s New Nonprofit Grocery Stores: A Membership Model with Surprising Twists
Nonprofit Quarterly | March 09, 2018
Access to affordable, healthy food is pivotal in creating healthy communities and long-term positive health outcomes for individuals and families. Unfortunately, that opportunity does not exist for everybody in the United States. According to the USDA, nearly 40 million people live within a food desert, meaning that a substantial portion of the people living in an area do not have access to or live far away from a grocery store. Overwhelmingly the people that live in food deserts are low income people who struggle with multiple layers of access, from transportation, to banking/credit access, to healthcare. What’s more, food access issues impact communities of color disproportionately. Over the past several years many groups around the country have mobilized and developed a plethora of initiatives geared towards increasing food access. Many of these efforts leverage existing public funds, create jobs, and provide much needed economic development in areas that have historically been overlooked by community and economic development departments. Though progress has been made, many communities still struggle with food access. One such community is Baltimore, which in many ways is emblematic of the intersection of social and economic issues related to food access. While the city of Baltimore in January reframed food deserts as “healthy food priority areas,” the fact remains the city has a monumental food access issue. According to the 2012 study Searching for Markets.