The not-for-profit company Daily Table is seeking to provide low-income families with a healthier alternative to typical fast food fare. Everyone knows that fast food, while tasty, isn’t usually the healthiest option out there. But what if you could take those fast food prices and tack them onto healthy foods?
With that in mind, Doug Ranch, the former president of Trader Joe’s, opened the first Daily Table store in Dorchester, Boston on June 4, 2015. Additional stores are set to open in the greater Boston area as well as in other cities across the USA.
Most of the food options are donated from other supermarket chains, manufacturers, and growers, who have excess food and produce. This keeps prices to the consumer low.
This novel concept gives the average low-income family (or just anyone else) an advantage when planning meals for the week ahead instead of purchasing greasy burgers from a fast food chain simply because it’s cheaper most of the time than buying healthy produce at the grocery store.
Startling fact: Nearly 133,000,000 pounds of food goes uneaten in the United States each and every year.
The creation of stores like Daily Table can help to reduce this massive food waste, especially when it comes to healthier food like fresh vegetables and naturally low-fat foods. Just the fact that a store could potentially offer this food to an estimated 49 to 50 million low-income families is staggering. That money could then be used to purchase more food, and many more Daily Table stores could open in many more cities. It’s a win-win situation.
How much cheaper is Daily Table than traditional grocery chains? A dozen eggs can be bought for $1.29, and cereal can be purchased for .79 cents. How about a can of tuna? It can be all yours for just .50 cents a can. Can anyone out there name another grocery store that offers those types of prices nearly every day?
The concept is absolutely mind-blowing. Healthy foods, especially for children, can make so much of a difference. Bringing lunch to school or work could be so much easier than buying whatever is on the snack truck or in the vending machine.
I know that if I could walk into a grocery store and pick up an entire healthy pre-packaged meal for the family for a fraction of the cost of a retail grocery chain, I’d jump at the chance. I wouldn’t bat an eye because the food was considered “excess” by another store, as long as it meets or exceeds all safety guidelines, which it does.
Daily Table also offers “ready-to-go” food choices as well as a traditional grocery store experience, providing convenience to people as well as money savings. That’s an almost impossible option these days.
But in the end, are places like Daily Table enough? Other than providing cheap and healthy food to cities like Dorchester, which already has a co-op low priced alternative grocery chain, what else can be done? A non-profit company doesn’t have to pay taxes back to the community, or anyone else. Can a store like this really prop up a community – which needs good jobs to offer to its residents? Will the proceeds (not profit of course) be used for better businesses or schools or community projects? Much remains to be seen how all of this will pan out, but for now, Daily Table has earned kudos.