Get To Know The Daily Table: A Non-Profit Grocery
If you don't know Doug Rauch, look him up. The former president of Trader Joe's is changing the way American's eat, one non-profit store at a time. Understanding that we waste about 40% of the food grown in the U.S., and that many people can not afford to buy the healthiest foods, Rauch is putting his 30 years of food industry experience to good use.
His new mission is to offer people with limited funds access to affordable and organic food at his new grocery, The Daily Table . The store opened it's doors in June of last year (2015) in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester, and Rauch has plans to expand to other neighborhoods and cities as soon as possible.
"Nearly one-third of food produced in the U.S. goes to waste — more than $160 billion each year" (foodanddrugconference.com). If you think about how much perfectly healthy and edible food is thrown away, it's sickening. And Rauch, like us, has a hard time reconciling these numbers or the fact that someone who can barely afford to eat could be obese. The Daily Table partners with local vendors and suppliers and uses their excess food to stock their shelves and prepare ready-made meals.
Their ready made meals are another answer to many American's poor eating habits. Individuals who take public transportation, are forced into working more than one job, or who take care of busy family need access to healthier convenient food. Instead of paying $7 or $8 for a fast food meal, Dorchester residents can now pop by the Daily Table and grab a wholesome salad or entree for under $2.
Rauch has acknowledged the need and use of food banks as well, and has no intention of competing with them. There are many hard-working American's who live under the poverty line. These people can afford food, but not the $8 organic juice for the whole family. And why shouldn't people who contribute to your society have access to a clean, up-beat and healthy supermarket? Rauch aims to simply "offer a new option for people who don't want handouts" (brit.co).
The store looks like an upscale grocery and includes features like wooden crates, vibrant produce and chef-inspired ready-made meals. The chefs face a daily challenge of creating new dishes as often as the very next day. Because the store works with what they can get, so to speak, they are not able to project and plan the same as a regular grocery store might operate. However, this also means a trip to the Daily Table is exciting, fresh and fun and offers customers a wide variety of creative and delicious food.
The doors are open to anyone, however they do require you register as a member (but it's free). Rauch wants to know who he is serving and how he can help. What he's doing is not only changing the way people eat, but it's slowly changing the way we look at each other as fellow Americans. Sure, he was a president of a big company. But he's also on a mission of health and wellness for everyone, no matter your income or social status.
About 49 million Americans are unable to eat properly. This simply doesn't sit well with Rauch and we agree. It's easy to ignore the problem if it does not directly affect you. Perhaps you can easily afford the organic, all-natural and healthy foods at your local grocery. But when a huge population of citizens are developing heart disease, diabetes and obesity as early as their teenage years, it's a situation that begins to greatly affect us all.
We feel passionately about what the Daily Table is doing. It's inspiring and exciting to see this type of change begin to take place. The store takes food donations, if you're interested, and are always in need of volunteers as well. Do you wish the Daily Table would expand to your city or town? You can contact them through their website or review their blog full of free, nutritious recipes as well. We think this non-profit is pretty awesome and hope that they continue to grow. Cheers to you, Mr. Rauch, and thank you for helping Americans stay healthy.
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