Salvation Army opens affordable grocery store in Baltimore ‘food desert’

Fresh groceries are about to get a whole lot more accessible for Baltimore residents. On March 7, the Salvation Army officially opened the doors of its inaugural supermarket.

Dubbed “DMG Foods” after the nonprofit’s motto “Doing the Most Good,” the innovative 7,000-square-foot shop aims to bring nutritious, healthy food to low income residents in one of the nation’s poorest urban areas — the so-called "food deserts."

“DMG Foods is the first grocery store in the nation to combine social service with a traditional grocery shopping experience. Our social services include nutritional guidance, shopping education, workforce development, and meal planning,” the shop’s website states. Video footage and photos of the launch shared to social media have received a positive response.  

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According to the federal government’s definition, “food deserts” are urban areas where at least one-third of the population lives a mile or more from a grocery store, Grub Street reports.

Nearly all of northeast Baltimore qualifies as such, as most residents have tremendously limited access to low-cost healthy food.

“Our everyday low prices on staple products include $2.99/gallon for name brand milk, $0.99/loaf for name brand white bread and $1.53/dozen for Best Yet Grade A medium eggs,” Salvation Army spokesperson Maj. Gene Hogg confirmed to Food Dive notes via email.

Hogg further divulged that not only will prices be lower than those of other Baltimore grocers, but the nonprofit model also allows for additional savings with its Red Shield Club discount, too.

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Featuring an on-site butcher, premade salads from a partnership with the Maryland Food Bank and cooking demos galore, DMG Foods hopes to double the quantities of food SNAP households can purchase, Grub Street reports. If this model is a success, the Salvation Army hopes to open more stores in food deserts across the country.

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Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter at @JaninePuhak