Low-Cost Largesse

Nonprofit Grocery Sells Good Food at Low Prices

The biggest challenge to healthy eating in poor neighborhoods isn’t always access to healthy food; it’s whether people can afford to buy it. A year ago, Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s, opened Daily Table, a nonprofit grocery in Boston, to take action. It gathers nutritious food that would otherwise be wasted and then sells it at low prices. After learning about food insecurity in the U.S. and that approximately 40 percent of the food we grow is thrown out, Rauch decided to address both problems by offering this new option for people that don’t want handouts.

The store now has 5,000 members and hundreds of daily customers, with plans to expand to new locations. “The challenge we have in America is that the food system is designed from the farm on up to create calories that are cheap and nutrients that are expensive,” he says. “People on the lowest economic rung get squeezed the hardest.”

Rauch partners with vendors to get excess food, such as fruit just slightly too ripe to make it through the standard supermarket system, that chefs turn into ready-to-eat meals like prepared salads and soups, or entrées that can cost less than $2.

For more information, visit DailyTable.org.

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