Imagine if every hungry and food insecure child in Wilmington had a free grocery store just for them. Well, imagine no more, because it will be here in early 2022!!! That’s right, our new home will have a shopping area where families and their children can choose the food that is right for them.
Why Do This?
Our goal with this “client choice” model is to end child hunger in our community by:
- Empowering families to choose the food that is best for their children’s tastes and dietary needs.
- Providing a dignified experience where children and families can shop together.
- Expanding culturally-specific food items so that all members of our community have access to the food they love.
- Maximizing donor dollars and reducing waste by allowing families to choose the food they will use and leaving the rest for others.
- Increasing NNC’s procurement efficiency and offerings by allowing shopping trends and customer feedback to dictate purchasing.
- Using “nudges” to encourage healthy choices.
What Will It Look Like?
The layout and feel of the store will be just like that of a small grocery store. Families will grab a shopping cart, choose the foods that are right for them, bag it up, and head home for dinner together. The store will feature all the non-perishable staples our families crave plus tons of fresh produce, eggs & meat, bread, healthy snacks, dairy products, frozen entrees to-go, rotating featured products, and “micro buys”.
We will also feature extra little goodies in the store that are provided by our network of partners. This could include books, STEM kits, diapers, book bags, activity kits, toothbrushes, etc.
Lastly, the shopping area will feature recipes, occasional taste tests, and informational resources provided by our partners. And of course, all signage will be bi-lingual.
Who It Nurtures?
Children and their families from NourishNC’s existing Backpack, Food Farmacy, and Toddler Tummies Programs will be able to choose to use the grocery store in lieu of the existing program models or use the store in tandem. We will also accept emergency referrals from New Hanover County School personnel, community social workers, pediatricians, and other nonprofits.
When Will It Be Ready?
Have I ever told you how challenging it is to build a new building during a pandemic and the ensuing product shortages, cost overruns, delays, and general headaches? I’ll spare you the details, but we hope to be in our new home at 3606 Market St. in early 2022. Next time we get heavy rain, think of us and send some good vibes to our construction team!
How Can I Help?
Folks will be able to volunteer in the store but in the meantime, we need to purchase lots of equipment. Please consider donating here.
P.S. What if we built an app to let families without transportation order their food online for delivery?