The Salvation Army Might Just Be The Food Desert Solution

The Lempert Report
April 20, 2018

DMG Foods, which stands for the nonprofit’s credo, Doing the Most Good, has opened in Baltimore.

It is the first-ever national nonprofit grocery chain, the goal is to bring good food to low-income residents in the country’s food deserts, nutrition-poor areas where people have no or extremely limited access to low-cost, healthy food, according to Grub Street.

Their goal is a sustainable store rooted in the community that helps locals eat “healthier, smarter, cheaper, and all of that,” Salvation Army spokesperson Gene Hogg said in a release. People who can’t easily purchase nutritious food tend not to eat it, and the U.S. is actually plagued by this terrible phenomenon, and it often occurs in neighborhoods that are loaded with fast-food chains.

As part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign years ago, which I was privileged to work with, the USDA built a Food Desert Locator that mapped America’s “low-access communities.” 

DMG foods is 7,000 square feet, and aims to double the amount of food people on SNAP can purchase. (Ordinarily, they get the equivalent of about $4 per person per day.) But the nonprofit clearly did its grocery-industry research beforehand Grub Hub said: Baltimore’s DMG features an on-site butcher, and premade meals and salads via a partnership with the Maryland Food Bank. It’s even got a house brand called Best Yet alongside other national brands. Cooking demos are the norm as well as their own loyalty program called the Red Shield Club that extends discounts to members. 

Looks like once again the Salvation Army comes to the rescue.