A grocery store in Minneapolis is providing local residents with a glimmer of hope and an extension of good will, to help them stay healthy despite the perceived price of doing so.
Good Grocer is hoping to spread the word of wellness and make quality, healthy food more accessible to those who are usually unable to afford the options they deserve.
In exchange for just two and a half hours of commitment a month, Good Grocer offers a hefty discount all year round, to those most deserving.
“When people are poor, others don’t look at them as being able to contribute. But, everyone has something to contribute,” Kurt Vickman, the grocery store’s founder, told local news. “Here they can feel proud instead of walking into … [a charity food shelf] with their heads down.”
The store’s prices are all marked with the regular price, along side the volunteer price, to encourage more people to take them up on their offer and help the local community.
The customers who are willing to partake in the volunteer work are given various tasks depending on their skill sets. Some members man the front desk and help with bagging or stocking and others help out with repairs or paint work.
Vickman insists there is a job for everyone who wishes to take advantage of the great deal.
For all customers – not just ones who volunteer, the grocery store also provides free childcare every Saturday from 10-4, to help out any parents in the neighbourhood.
The store was founded by utilising donations from corporate partnerships and various financial backers. Once established, the business boomed due to its cost effective employment standards and by extension, its ability to give back to the community and offer fresh and healthy produce.
“We want to provide dignity where people are contributors,” Vickman told Twin Cities Daily Planet. “We want to offer, not a hand out but a hand up.”