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Connecting to Philadelphia’s Food System Movement and ShopRite?

April 8, 2011

During the Connecting to Philadelphia’s Food System Movement event on April 4, 2011 at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia I was shocked.  I thought I would learn a new statistic or two, and hear a few new community initiatives happening in Philadelphia.   And I did.  I also learned about the the work that ShopRite was doing in the community.  Not the profit work, but work to benefit the community.

Jeffrey Brown is the President and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores, Inc. a ten store supermarket chain trading under the ShopRite banner in Philadelphia.   He is also the founder and Chairman of UpLift Solutions, a public non-profit formed to aid governments, non-profits and businesses in banishing food deserts in the US.

Mr. Brown’s vision of ShopRite’s include health clinics, credit unions and even assistance getting benefits such as SNAP and WIC.  This would mean having services all in one place, where they would be accessible without an extra trip.  This vision also included respecting the different cultures and heritages a store may serve, and treating each person in a holistic manner.

ShopRite’s have been using media to help individuals make healthy choices without feeling that they are sacrificing something.   Eating healthy is difficult, so if the media campaigns can help people achieve that without the feeling of sacrifice it’s a win-win-win situation with the individual, the grocery store and the community all reaping the benefits.

I also learned that ShopRite is pilot testing hydroponic growing on a roof of one of their stores.  This would ultimately bring the growing and selling to one place, reduce transportation costs, and bring consumers fresh produce.

For more information check out UpLift Solutions and ShopRite.

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