A Free Grocery Store Opens in Atlanta Senior Community

According to Newsweek, Goodr has just built a free grocery store in an Atlanta senior community. 

Jasmine Crowe is the founder of Goodr, a waste management and hunger relief organization that focuses on developing local resources to combat community food insecurity. Crowe fed Atlantans from her own kitchen for years, paying for it with her own money. In 2017, she founded Goodr, a company that uses technology and logistics to manage waste food within corporations and repurpose it for distribution to underserved populations. To far, the organization has fed millions of people around the country, most notably partnering with rapper Gunna to create a free grocery store in an Atlanta middle school. They’ve now expanded their network of free grocers, with the latest location in an Atlanta senior community.

“When we opened a free grocery store at the rapper Gunna’s old middle school in September 2021, we already had the goal of opening more…We knew from my work with seniors that a lot are experiencing food insecurity…We reached out to our network in the fall and started talking about how we could get the funding and where we could open a free grocery store for seniors. We chose Lutheran Towers in Atlanta because there was a perfect harmony there. They had some funding, my company Goodr had partners, and they had a space available,” Crowe explained. 

The original plan was to open the store before Christmas, but the area had previously been used as storage and cleaning it out took some time. Crowe and her crew eventually cleared the room, converting it into a tiny market and providing seniors with a reusable bag containing some products as well as a flyer announcing the big opening on January 19th. 

Goodr opened its doors to the Lutheran Towers residents, complete with rolling baskets to make shopping easier for consumers and stocked senior-specific things such as sugar-free products and adult diapers. The Goodr Grocery is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with plans to open on the second Saturday of each month.

“Today, we opened our first FREE Goodr Grocery Store in a senior community at Lutheran Towers in Midtown Atlanta! The store is full of produce, meat, beverages, shelf-stable items, household goods and more…About 10% of all people over 60 will experience hunger at some point in their life. We are proud to offer a solution for these seniors right inside their building,” Goodr shared via social media. 

Residents have given positive feedback so far, with many seniors taking advantage of the free recipes and range of things. The residence and Goodr work together to secure vendors and food delivery, with restocking taking place on Mondays and inventory taking place on Fridays. Currently, a member of the Lutheran Towers staff works in the store.

“We had 50-75 seniors shop in the store in the four days after we opened on January 19 and 25 of those shopped on the very first day. That’s really positive. Seniors have said they’re really excited by the assortment of items and that they weren’t expecting that. The sad thing is that we have now received hundreds of emails from other seniors asking how they can come to the store…My goal is to open as many of these as possible because the need is there, it’s really about trying to find the funding,” said Crowe. 

Goodr is aiming to end hunger at the grassroots level, according to Crowe, who points out that despite billions of dollars being spent to combat hunger around the world, the problem endures because much of the money goes to the same large food programs. Goodr ensures that the food reaches the people directly by delivering it to specific communities and tackling smaller areas at a time. While their free grocery stores have been based in the Atlanta area thus far, they have done pop-up stores and surplus food recovery efforts around the country. Crowe is working overtime to secure funds that will allow her to have an even bigger effect. Their goal is to spread their free grocery shop concepts to more schools and need-based communities as quickly as possible.

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