Photo: Shutterstock / Jevanto Productions
Baltimore residents will soon be able to buy fresh produce on a budget thanks to The Salvation Army in their area. On March 7, the nonprofit opened its doors to their very first supermarket, hoping to bring nutritious and healthy food to low-income families. (Related: This New Online Grocery Store Sells Everything for $3)
Communities in northeast Baltimore are among the poorest in the country, and the region qualifies as an urban "food desert"—an area where at least one-third of the population lives a mile or more from the grocery store and/or doesn't have access to a vehicle. That's why The Salvation Army says it decided to test out the new grocery store concept in this particular location—their goal being to double the quantity of food Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households can purchase. (Related: 5 Healthy and Affordable Dinner Recipes)
Dubbed "DMG Foods" after the organization's motto "Doing the Most Good," the new 7,000-square-foot shop is the first grocery store in the country to combine community services with a traditional grocery shopping experience.
Couldn't be happier about our partnership with the @SalArmyCM first grocery store, DMG Foods! The grand opening was a huge success, and a great path forward for creating a healthier Baltimore.
— Maryland Food Bank (@MDFoodBank) March 9, 2018
"Our social services include nutritional guidance, shopping education, workforce development, and meal planning," according to the shop's website.
"Our everyday low prices on staple products include $2.99/gallon for name-brand milk, $0.99/loaf for name-brand white bread, and $1.53/dozen for Best Yet Grade A medium eggs," Salvation Army spokesperson Maj. Gene Hogg told Food Dive. (Related: I Survived On $5 of Groceries a Day In NYC—and Didn't Starve)
Not only will prices be lower than those of other mainstream supermarkets, but DMG Foods will also allow for additional savings with its Red Shield Club discount.
#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 store will also boast an on-site butcher, premade salads through a partnership with the Maryland Food Bank, and cooking demos. Right now, it's not known whether The Salvation Army will expand this concept to other cities. But considering the positive feedback news of the first store has received online, it wouldn't be surprising to see more pop up across the nation.