A new grocery store in Boston is on a mission to solve two problems: preventing tons of food from going to waste and offering healthy alternatives to families who might not be able to afford traditional stores, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller.
Daily Table in Dorchester looks like a boutique supermarket, but the founder says it’s the first fully not-for-profit grocery store in the country that provides affordable and nutritious meals for low-income families.
Bananas are riper than you’d expect, canned tuna is closer to being out of date and options for customers are more limited. But what’s being tested inside the 3,500 square foot retail space could change the way average Americans like Yvonne Nelson shop for food.
She said in the past, food available to the community was unhealthy.
“Pizza; greasy, fried food, things that aren’t healthy, no vegetables,” she said.
Founder Doug Rauch spent 30 years with Trader Joe’s grocery stores and served as the company’s president.
He said the Daily Table offers low-income families quality food at an affordable price.
They do it by collecting donations and sometimes purchasing products that are considered too ripe or too close to expiration and then reselling them at rock-bottom prices.
Some say Rauch is selling close-to-rotten food to the poor in under-served communities.
Rauch said that’s ridiculous.
“Daily Table is trying to be one of the solutions,” he said.
He sells two bags of pasta for $1 and eggs, which have surged 50 percent in price over recent weeks, are just $1.29 a dozen.
If not for the Daily Table, all of the products served in their store would have been thrown out.
“We are literally wasting a Rose Bowl Stadium full of food every single day,” Rauch said.
Nearly one-third of food produced in the U.S. goes to waste — more than $160 billion each year.
Yet, for one-in-six Americans, nearly 50 million people, there is no access to healthy or affordable food.
Rauch is trying to take a bite out of that by helping people who fall through the cracks.
“Daily Table’s designed around reaching that part of the population that food banks don’t normally get to reach,” he said. “The working poor, people that wouldn’t go to a soup kitchen or a pantry, and quite frankly speaking don’t want a handout.”
Those people are like Lauren Scherer, a life-long Dorchester resident who’s holding down two jobs and has two kids to feed.
“Obviously on a budget with a family of four, and finding those healthy items at a regular supermarket, that are healthy, nutritious and a good price is difficult,” she said. “I love this, I think this should be in other communities.”
And that’s the plan. Rauch said once his team works out the kinks, they will open two more stores in the Boston area. He said he’s already received e-mails expressing interest in his formula from several other cities across the country.
Source: CBS News