Roots Community Market provides a variety of free nutritious foods and hygiene products to community members in need. We offer members a dignified way to shop for food by using a point system that encourages eating fresh produce and healthier versions of favorite foods, creating a non-stigmatizing food distribution method. In 90 days we have distributed 3,378 lbs of food to 320 people. We need your help to ensure the market remains a dependable resource for our most vulnerable Oakland residents.
East Oakland residents experience significant health disparities, demonstrating the clear need for quality, accessible and culturally competent health and nutrition services. The surrounding area is classified as a food desert due to historical disinvestment and neglect. With high priced healthy foods, inaccessibility of grocery stores, and ample liquor stores and fast food establishments, East Oakland's leading causes of death are diabetes, heart disease, and cancers (60.3%).
The Roots Market provides free healthy foods, reusable bags to package the foods, and simple healthy recipes to cook the ingredients available. This market has been a pilot project with the Food Bank, and we have been overwhelmed by the need. Since opening in mid-June, we have served 320 community members, with most returning weekly for groceries. We need your support to keep up with this level of need and help as we expand to include nutrition education and cooking classes.
We seek to close the health and nutrition services gap by providing our community with top-tier family nutrition support and education and physical and mental health care. We believe food is medicine and are utilizing the Roots Community Market as a preventative care tool to support healthy eating habits. By utilizing a point system where unhealthy foods cost clients more points, we are incentivizing healthy eating and changing our communities' perception of the accessibility of healthy foods.