People's Grocery's mission is to improve the health and local economy of West Oakland by offering holistic programs which encourage a diversified, local and sustainable community while facilitating conversations about racial equity and its impact on the community.
- Access to healthy food, information, shelter, joy, and love are basic human rights.
- Community Engagement is critical to changing the food system.
- Movement toward increased love, light, and joy will happen through creating access to healthy food and information about the consumption of healthy foods.
- Self-determination is a key element to community sovereignty and must be centered around historical residents
- Building relationships across difference increases the health and wealth of the community.
- Healing is a form of liberation.
Since 2003 we have pursued positive community change and addressed social determinants of health through food to ensure that community self-determination plays a primary role in revitalizing historically underinvested neighborhoods.
Increasing Economic Opportunity: Our enterprises have driven almost $393,000 toward the healthy food economy in West Oakland. We have piloted four enterprises, the Mobile Market, the Grub Box, Wholesale Hookup, and People’s Community Market. The Mobile Market, the first of its kind, has been replicated across the country, and is still considered one of the most innovative approaches to food access in historically under-invested communities. Our Grub Box program is currently a partnership between our organization and a new farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project, and has de-mystified the incorporation of food stamps and a subsidized pricing structure for other CSA programs. Wholesale Hookup continues to offer customers affordable non-perishable items. In 2010, we spun off a for-profit grocery store, People’s Community Market, with our founder Brahm Ahmadi as CEO. The store is in the final stages of securing funding to open a 15,000 square foot store in the middle of West Oakland.
Building a Healthier Environment: We have increased the knowledge of, interaction with, and access to healthy foods for over 9,000 West Oakland residents. Our nutrition education programs built essential community will and valuable data to show that local investment in healthy food systems causes health equity among residents. Two of our three gardens are now in the hands of allied organizations that are offering community members new opportunities to grow and enjoy fresh produce. Our cooking classes, nutrition demonstrators project, community celebrations and workshops have collaborated with public hospitals and health clinics reaching vulnerable communities with specific cultural needs. Our work with Alameda County Medical Center has led to clinical case studies and collaborations with youth programs within Highland Hospital.
Strengthening Social Capital: People’s Grocery has gained regional and national recognition as a leader in the evolving food justice movement, and we have had increasing opportunity to share our model and learn from other communities in the pursuit of transformation for historically under-invested communities. For years, organizations have used our allyship program as a resource to become more competent in the areas of race, class, power and privilege. We have supported over 130 youth and adults with taking leadership in the healthy food system and acting as allies in creating an equitable food system. Our reputation has built strong relationships in diverse communities, positioning us as a bridge builder between the food, health, and economic development sectors.