We are lucky at the Food Bank of Delaware to have a group of dedicated board members who bring diverse skills and knowledge to the table. One of our Board members, Dr. Nancy Cotugna, serves as a Professor in the Nutrition and Dietetics Department at the University of Delaware. A recent research study she conducted with a colleague, Jo Anna Popielarski, RD, was published in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition.
Their article entitled, “Fighting Hunger Through Innovation: Evaluation of a Food Bank’s Social Enterprise Venture,” examines our low-cost food store, The Market.
Our Market, now located in the Catholic Charities Thrift Center at 23rd and Bowers Streets in Wilmington, was originally piloted in our Newark warehouse. It was designed as a place for members of the general public to purchase low-price household staples. From cereal and juices to cosmetics and cleaning supplies, the store is stocked to meet a household’s needs.
All food sold in The Market is purchased by the Food Bank from national retailers and food wholesalers. No donated food is sold, and all proceeds benefit our other hunger-relief programs.
Dr. Cotugna and Ms. Popielarski examined the store from the startup phase to its current state in the Thrift Center. They state, “innovative solutions are required to overcome increasing demands on food bank resources. A social enterprise venture in the form of an agency-run grocery store called “The Market” was developed by the Food Bank of Delaware with the goal of bringing food to the citizens of an inner-city neighborhood. The project began with a pilot store and a feasibility study evaluated the challenges and successes for development of a permanent store and future research. The Market is one model of social enterprise in the area of nutrition and food security.”
The full article can be found in the January-March 2010 Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition.