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Ringing the dinner bell

Salvation Army opens grocery store in Baltimore
Posted at 8:53 PM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 20:53:00-05

At first glance, it may seem like any other supermarket, but not in the disappearing landscape for grocery stores that is Baltimore.

"You know they call these areas in East Baltimore food deserts, and that's what they are so you have those little trucks come around go up to houses and get loose ones and all that, but that's just the kind of areas we live in," said Michele Horne, one of the new store’s first customers.
But all of that changed today in this community as city leaders cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the first non-profit grocery store of its kind in the country.
The DMG grocery where it's “Doing the Most Good”.

"This serves as a beacon for the rest of this community.  If we can do this here, we can do this in other parts of the city," said Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh.
An idea, which grew out of the riots almost three years ago---the Salvation Army will now provide convenient, affordable and nutritious food options by running its own grocery store, training as many as 50 workers per year in the process.
The non-profit organization easily could have abandoned its plans for the 7,000 square foot supermarket after burglars struck three times within a week, including Thanksgiving Day, a few months ago making off with every piece of copper, tools, building materials and even tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of toys for needy children.

"But after that happened, the great thing is the people of the community began to knock on the windows and knock on the doors and we'd open and they'd say, 'We're sorry that happened.  Listen.  That's not going to happen again.  We're going to protect it, because we know what's going on,’" said Salvation Army Area Commander Major Gene Hogg.
And protect it they have, allowing the Salvation Army to replace everything that was stolen and to move forward to this day when it can finally deliver. 

"To have a place like this where you can save money and eat good and fresh---all at the same time, I think it's wonderful," said Horne.

On top of everything else, the Salvation Army will also use food that's nearing its expiration date at the store to prepare hot meals for the homeless in both East and East Baltimore.