About 10% of Americans live in what the USDA refers to as "Food Deserts" - low-income neighborhoods with limited access to supermarkets and next-to-no access to healthy, fresh, produce. Outside of being inconvenient for residents of the deserts, who have to travel much farther for their dinners, scarce fresh food can contribute to higher incidence of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Food justice is a social, environmental, and economic issue, the solution to which might be parked in an abandoned lot near you.
What started as a graduate school project by Carrie Ferrence and Jacqueline Gjurgevich, has turned into an oasis in Seattle's Delridge food desert. It is nothing more than an old cargo container, with a sign reading, "Stockbox Grocers." It is a grocery store in miniature - a prototype with fresh, healthy food for an otherwise underserved community.
The goal is to launch 3-5 stores in 2013, and with all the press coverage they are getting (from this FastCo article, to a write-up from the White House), that goal will most likely be exceeded. Ferrence and Gjurgevich never set out to make a profit, but they are proving that business can be sustainable, socially conscious, and still make money.
Stockbox Brings a Flexible Model to Teensy Grocery Stores from Fast Company Exist