The Salvation Army has proposed a new way to help neighborhoods categorized as food deserts. The USDA defines a food desert as parts of the country that are lacking in the availability of fresh fruit, vegetables or other healthy food options.
The organization has imagined up the concept of a nonprofit grocery store for the food deserts in impoverished areas. Last week, they opened up their first store DMG Foods named after the motto “Doing the most good,” using the model.
#DMGFoods officially opened in Baltimore today as The Salvation Army’s first grocery store, uniquely combining workforce-development programs, supplemental benefits, cooking demonstrations and more with grocery shopping in a food desert. Check it out at https://t.co/7PzaJk3Rgd! pic.twitter.com/4m71Z37YJM
— Salvation Army USA (@SalvationArmyUS) March 7, 2018
The 7,000-square-foot grocery store opened in Baltimore last Wednesday. Along with the amenities of other grocery stores, the DMG also offers workforce-development programs, cooking demos and supplemental benefits. “The idea is to strengthen the family table,” he said. “We want to do more than just sell groceries.”
The Salvation Army of Central Maryland was able to open the store in partnership with the Maryland Food Bank. The bank will provide a significant portion of the store’s inventory. The other supplies are provided by local farmers. Volunteers from the food bank even work within the store.
The store is northeast Baltimore is proving to be a test run for the organization. HuffPost reports that Maj. Gene A. Hogg, the Salvation Army’s Central Maryland area commander, said, “If this works, Baltimore wants us to open two or three more stores.”