Jasmine Crowe, a social entrepreneur, has teamed up to open a grocery shop inside his former school, Ronald E. McNair middle School in College Park, Georgia.
There are many food items in the store, including burgers and pizzas, fresh produce, fish, eggs and fish. There are shelves that display clothing, toiletries, and boxes containing brand-new Nike and Adidas sneakers.
“It’s like walking into a mini Walmart,” principal John Madden described the store, called “Gunna’s Drip Closet And Goodr Grocery Store.”
He’s right—except that every item in the store is absolutely free!
Crowe, founder of Goodr and CEO, was partnered with Gunna to fund the store.
The stock is replenished every week and includes vegan and quick-and-easy options. The team made sure to provide items that the kids could make themselves after the principal said that many of them are “essentially adults that are making the meals” and doing everything for their household.
Parents can shop after dropping their children off at school. They also have the option of using an app designed specifically for this project to reserve a time slot or request items.
Their children can take the items home with them while they are at school. Parents without internet access can register at school instead.
A few days after the grocery store opened, they received several requests—and all were asking for food. That’s when Crowe knew that what they were doing was necessary.
Goodr also provided each student with a reusable shopping bags to help reduce waste and allow them to shop anonymously. There’s no way to know if a student has gone shopping at the store since everyone has a bag to use for anything at any time.
“Our hope was that now if you see a kid with that bag, you just don’t know what’s in it, because you got one as well,” Crowe said.
Even before the pandemic, many families at the school experienced poverty—but the global health crisis only made it worse.
“Our students have gone through a lot. Our kids will say, ‘I didn’t eat last night,’ or, ‘My lights are cut off,’ or, ‘I’m living with my cousin or my auntie because I don’t have a place right now.’ This store is going to provide them some relief,” Madden said.
Since the store opened, the school has received tons of messages from parents—many of whom are earning minimum wage—saying it has been such a great help. Students can now bring home dinner for the whole family thanks to it.
Crowe believed he could help his community in a lasting way when Gunna reached to Goodr to inquire about ways to help them after the schools reopened.
“I just wanted us to do something that would last and just be more sustainable and that we can continue to build upon,” she said.
That’s when she and the rapper teamed up to help the latter’s old middle school.
The store will remain open during school year and close during summer. All food items will be given to families before the students leave to reduce waste.
Keeping the store alive wouldn’t be a problem, as Gunna has pledged to continue funding it “as long as he is alive.”
Crowe has been helping people for almost ten year. Crowe started feeding the homeless in her tiny apartment in Atlanta in 2013 from her kitchen. She purchased all the food, and cooked the meals every weekend for more than three decades.
Crowe hopes Crowe will work with more brands and celebrities to sponsor similar programs that feed more people.
In the meantime, Gunna’s store plans to expand its offerings by adding resources like recipe cards and instructional cooking videos.
If you want to help the students and their families, you can donate food to the school’s front office or have items delivered via Amazon Fresh.
Watch the video below to learn more about this story.
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