A Black-led grocery store will be opening in Detroit, MI, to help solve food insecurity.
Detroit Free Press reports that Detroit People’s Food Co-Op will be opening its doors to the public in March 2024. The grocery store is part of the Detroit Food Commons (DFC) project, a 31,000-square-foot two-story building that will also provide a community space and local kitchen to support food entrepreneurs.
Outlier Media reports the second floor of the $21.3 million property building will have four commercial kitchens and a venue for performances and film screenings, among other activities, as well as a café with healthy offerings.
“The Detroit People’s Food Co-op is going to be huge for the North End, and especially for our urban agriculture ecosystem and economy,” Tepfirah Rushdan, Detroit’s director of urban agriculture, told Outlier Media. “Not only is it going to provide a convenient source of locally grown organic produce for residents, it’s also going to be a valuable retail outlet for our urban farmers. In addition to all of this, Detroiters are able to own shares in the co-op, giving them a voice in its operation.”
According to the outlet, two nonprofits Detroit Black Community Food Sovereignty Network (DBCFSN) and Develop Detroit joined forces on the Detroit Food Commons project.
Malik Yakini, DBCFSN co-founder and executive director, said: “DPFC will be the only Black-led, community-owned grocery store in the Midwest, confronting extractive practices of the industry while connecting economic opportunities to local growers and farmers in the supply chain.”
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The grocery store will be pivotal to the Detroit area. According to the Detroit Food Policy Council’s 2021 Food Metrics Report, 69% of Detroit households are food insecure. This statistic is jarring. However, leaders of the DFC believe their project will be a step toward improving food insecurity as well as health conditions.
“DFC will bring much-needed access to fresh and nutrient-rich foods to help counter the negative effects of food insecurity, including obesity, high blood pressure, and a host of other health challenges that are negatively impacting Detroiters,” Yakini said, according to Outlier Media.
What’s more, Detroit People’s Food Co-Op plans to source its products from Detroit-based and Black-owned businesses as well as offer customers a variety of frozen foods, meats, baked items, dairy products, and health and wellness items, not to mention a deli.
The co-op will also be looking to improve the local economy with job creation. It plans to have 40 positions available within three years of being in business.
“Be on the lookout for details about a hiring fair later this year as we gear up to hire in early 2024,” Chris Dilley, interim general manager of DPFC, explained, according to Outlier Media. “Our goal is not only to provide affordable food but also to contribute to the economic vitality of our community.”