29 5 / 2013
London’s The People’s Supermarket is one example of a grocery store that offers lower prices in exchange for a few hours work each month. Now the Portobello supermarket in Italy is hoping to use the business model to tackle unemployment and poverty in an area struck by the credit crisis. Unemployment in Italy has peaked in recent months, even reaching a 20-year high of 11.7 percent in January. Such figures have a detrimental effect on local governments as the number of families relying on benefits rises. The Social Services of the City of Modena – in collaboration with the Association for Voluntary Services Modena – has launched the Portobello emporium, which is fitted out in much the same way as a typical grocery store. However, each item is assigned a value in points, rather than Euros, which are issued to local residents after means testing, according to their individual or family situation. The most needy are entitled to a greater number of points to spend.
10 11 / 2012
In order to feed the people, you have to get them invested. That’s the motto of an organization that’s banking on its community to fund a startup grocery store in the grocery-starved neighborhood of West Oakland. Less than a month in, the project has already created quite a buzz around the Bay Area and raised more than $200,000 of its $1.2 million funding goal from a pool of small, local investors. And the momentum is growing. “It really seems to be taking off,” said Brahm Ahmadi, CEO of People’s Community Market, a for-profit entity that is an outgrowth of nonprofit group People’s Grocery, which he co-founded more than a decade ago.