This Grocery Store Helps Low-Income Neighbors Without Handouts

fruits and vegetables
Fruit and vegetable variety.

Good Grocer, a new grocery store in Minneapolis, adopted a free-market business model to help low-income families afford healthier (and often more expensive) foods while asking them to volunteer for the store in return.

The Huffington Post explains:

Throughout the store, which opened in June, all items are marked with two prices — one for volunteers and one for non-members. To receive the 25 percent discount on regular prices, customers must sign up for a membership that commits them to a certain task or chore — and Vickman assures there is a job for everyone, the Star Tribune reported. Members can take on jobs like bagging and stocking, or offer skills and services like painting and repairs.

The volunteer commitment is two and a half hours a month and there are currently about 375 members. And for both volunteer parents and non-member customers, Good Grocer provides free childcare every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to the store’s website. …“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.”

Bravo to Good Grocer for alleviating hunger and malnutrition in its community through voluntary exchange! It’s truly inspiring to see private industry finding ways to empower individuals without the government getting involved.