Sunday, September 30, 2012

First Non-Profit Grocery To Open in "Food Desert"

From Philanthropy Today

A Philadelphia-area hunger charity has announced plans to open what it calls the nation’s first nonprofit supermarket in Chester, Pa., a city that has not had a major grocery store for 11 years, says The Philadelphia Inquirer.

At a ceremony Thursday in the Delaware County town, Philabundance detailed plans for a “Fare & Square” market to launch in the spring. The 13,000-square-foot store—about a third of the size of conventional supermarket—will require customers to become “members” to shop there, but the prices will below average, according to Philabundance head William Clark.

“We’re confident this will be a game-changer for the City of Chester,” said Mr. Clark. Chester officials said they hoped the nonprofit market would attract other big stores to the town, which has had trouble attracting grocery chains due to poverty and crime problems, leaving residents with an array of unhealthy food options.
Marty Meloche, a food-marketing professor at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, said Chester goes beyond the government definition of a “food desert.” He termed the town more akin to “Death Valley. There’s no water anywhere.”

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