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Curt Nickisch, a Business and Technology writer for National Public Radio’s WBUR member station, reports on Boston’s new discounted grocery store model that comes from the ex-President of Trader Joe’s. NPR delivers breaking national and world news.

Trader Joe’s Ex-President Opens Store With Aging Food And Cheap Meals

nonprofit grocery store

By Curt Nickisch | National Public Radio | 6/4/15

Daily Table opened its doors Thursday with shelves full of surplus and aging food.

The nonprofit grocery store is in the low-to-middle income Boston neighborhood of Dorchester. It’s selling canned vegetables two for $1 and a dozen eggs for 99 cents. Potatoes are 49 cents a pound. Bananas are 29 cents a pound.

The reason these prices are so low? Most of the stock is donated by food wholesalers and markets. It either didn’t sell or it’s surplus.

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Conscious Capitalism

Daily Table is the simple and innovative concept of Doug Rauch, former President of Trader Joe’s. The idea to open a nonprofit grocery store in a low-to-middle income Boston neighborhood stemmed from Rauch’s frustration of stores discarding nutritious food into dumpsters, just because the sell-by date was nearing. It seems clear that Rauch clearly understood the damage to America’s poor nutrition and health epidemic.

So why not offer the still edible nutritious food at a discount to those who normally couldn’t afford it?

Although Trader Joe’s (Rauch’s former employer) is not currently contributing food to the new store, he plans to eventually get donations from them. By contributing food that would otherwise be tossed in the garbage, local and corporate giants in the grocery industry are making a responsible choice that addresses a desperate need in our country. The partnerships between for-profit and not-for-profit grocery stores could prove revolutionary in how under-nourished people gain access to better quality food.

91% of customers will switch to brands that support good causes – talk about a win-win situation!

Food for Thought

Make a list of businesses that align with your organization’s mission and values. Start local, but don’t eliminate the big corporations out of fear that you are “too small” to solicit and receive their help – most businesses have a social responsibility mission built into their business model. Your partnership will be mutually beneficial and a great source of mobile marketing content, advertising and exposure over social media. Not to mention that you can leverage your partnership to brand keywords or mobile responsive crowdfunding & donation forms in just minutes from a smartphone – with no technical skills required.

Cloud-based and mobile fundraising allows businesses to easily sponsor nonprofit organizations. Partnering with businesses makes it possible for nonprofits to gain new donors, increase recurring donors and further engage supporters.

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