WELCOME TO PEOPLE 1ST'S ONLINE GROCER
While the primary purpose of all of the businesses People 1st runs is to provide jobs for the men in the People 1st community (those seeking to live a sober lifestyle), the second goal is to make a significant impact on those marginalized in our local area. Most of Bridgeport is listed by the USDA as a food desert. It combines many low income households having limited access to cars with food inequalities of two types;
- Poor access to fresh fruit and vegetables
- Poor access to nutritious foods, with what access does exist being much more expensive than the neighboring suburbs.
These combine to cause the most vulnerable households to have severe food insecurity!
Options are foundational to meeting the food inequalities described. Each item will be scrutinized from this perspective before being added into our inventory.
Feed the Vulnerable
Fund to assist the most vulnerable households, many being single parent households. An example being considered is distributin...Read more
Lowing the prices
At corner stores by purchasing in volume and distributing locally in small vehicles.
Assign a portion of the profits
From the Online Grocery sales to the “Feed the Vulnerable” fund.
Offer local produce whenever possible.
This keeps dollars local while improving both the flavor and nutrition of the foods provided.
- We will use a portion of the warehouse where the vertical farm is growing produce to hold an inventory of nutritious foods. This will be outfitted with shelving designed to handle pallets of products as we expect volume to grow quickly to need such volumes.
- The vertical farm will be our preferred source for produce as it can provide year-round produce that is fresh and harvested ripe (Highest flavor and nutritional value).
- We will approach all corner stores and local markets, especially in the East and North Ends, with our options for them:
- We are working to supply grocery products at a wholesale price that will allow the corner store to compete with the big box stores. This should enable them to capture a good portion of the public subsidy dollars that currently flow to those stores.
- If the corner store will publicly advertise us as a partner for ordering products the store doesn’t carry, then we will offer the store as an option for where to pickup an order. Orders being picked up at partner stores can either be paid for online or at the store. The store will get a percentage of such orders as additional revenue.
- We will provide each corner store with a monthly summary of the orders picked up at their store. This can provide data about what products might be worth adding to the inventory they carry on their shelves.
- All orders to the online grocer will be placed through the website/app. This eliminates the need for phone coverage and the handling of cash.
- Covid-19 protocols will be observed at all times, including masks, gloves and frequent sanitizing.
We are currently in the start-up stage of this effort. Needs include:
- Raising awareness of this new effort in the community
- Accessing local produce while our vertical farm is becoming operational
- Households outside the East/North Ends can support this effort by ordering their groceries from People 1st and picking them up at the warehouse or a corner store partner rather than having us incur the expense of delivering these orders.
Total initial funding need is estimated at $150,000.