Today, across this country, too many areas lack access to healthy, affordable foods. Often those lucky enough to be able to get fresh fruits & vegetables have to travel miles to get to a store. However providing healthy food is not enough to combat the issues of hunger, disease and even childhood development issues caused by poor diets. To truly begin to address this issue we need to look at access, affordability, education and hope. R.I.C.’s Market will be more than just a grocery store. Through a partnership with businesses, healthcare, educators and other not-for-profits; R.I.C.’s will truly look to deliver a solution that looks at developing a healthy person mentally, physically and spiritually.
In order to find a holistic, long term sustainable solution, it is going to be necessary to work in partnerships with:
- R.I.C.’s will be used as a test market for everything from technology to infrastructure, industry best practices, research and development and product development
- Higher Education
- R.I.C.’s will look to solve business and social issues around creating and sustaining healthy communities in low income areas through internships, course work, case competitions and research
- Other not-for-profits
- As to not reinvent the wheel and best utilize scarce resources and funding, we will work to connect the community to existing programs and assistance as well as partner on efforts where applicable. An example of this would be minimizing waste by donating excess or near expiration items to local food banks. Another would be leveraging relationships with local culinary programs to prepare fresh products nearing expiration and donate them to local soup kitchens or senior meal programs.
- R.I.C.’s will seek to partner with healthcare organizations such as doctors, nutritionist, dieticians, nurses, etc. to provide consultations, health incentives/challenges, health screenings and products labeling to help specific groups like diabetes know which foods are best, which to eat in moderation and which to avoid.
Food is a necessity to live. As people have migrated from an agrarian to an industrial society (rural to urban) and many small farms gobbled up by large corporations, most Americans are dependent on their local grocer for food. This industry is known to operate on small margins of about 1-3% but can be very profitable because of high volumes. Many stores that offer fresh and healthy foods do so at a premium price and are usually located in areas with higher median income averages. Access to healthy food should not be a luxury because it affects a community’s ability to grow and evolve.