San Francisco opens a 5.5 million dollar COSTCO like supermarket, where the poor can shop, eat and leave WITHOUT PAYING

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San Francisco opened its first $5.5 million free food “market”, where approved residents can show a benefits eligibility card, put what they want in their carts, check out to keep track of outgoing inventory, and leave without paying.

The Bayview-Hunters Point facility aims to be a food pantry alternative that replicates the supermarket experience in an area where many grocery stores have come but few have remained due to high crime.

The 4000-square foot District 10 Market is the first of San Francisco’s food empowerment “markets” funded by the San Francisco’s Human Services Agency. Eligible individuals receive a Costco-like benefits card that allows use of the facility once per month. Eligibility is limited to individuals who live within one of three zip codes, are verified social services clients, have dependents under 25 or a qualified food-related illness, and be referred by one of eleven community organizations in the market’s referral network.

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Here are the key details:

  • Market Description: The District 10 Community Market is a 4,000-square-foot facility located in the Bayview neighborhood. Unlike traditional food banks, this market allows shoppers to choose their groceries from long aisles stocked with the same items found in regular stores.
  • Eligibility Criteria:
    • Residents of specific ZIP codes (94124, 94107, or 94134)
    • Public assistance recipients (e.g., CalFresh, Medi-Cal, CalWORKs)
    • Individuals earning less than 300% of the federal poverty level (e.g., $45,180 for a single adult or $93,600 for a four-person family)
    • Those with children in the household or a diet-related illness
    • Referral by a community organization within the market’s network
  • Access: Shoppers must obtain a grocery card (similar to a Costco card) from partnering nonprofits. The market is likely open on Wednesdays and Fridays, allowing visits every two weeks.
  • Food Weight Limit: The city’s Human Services Agency sets the weight of food each shopper can take.
  • Exclusively Food: The market stocks only food items (no baby formula, medicine, household supplies, or alcohol).
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This will be the new norm soon.

It’s already spreading to Canada:

Imagine walking into a store, picking out all your groceries for the week and not having to worry about facing an expensive bill at the checkout.

For clients of the Regina Food Bank, that will soon be a reality.

The hub will give those who rely on the food bank autonomy over what they want to take home to feed their families, rather than being handed standardized items.


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