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In an effort to provide healthy food choices to lower income neighborhoods, the Salvation Army opened its first full-service grocery store in Baltimore recently. It hopes that it will be the first of many stores to help combat the nation’s number of “food deserts,” which are disadvantaged neighborhoods lacking stores that sell fresh meats and produce.

DMG Foods, which is named after the organization’s promise of “doing the most good,” opened in northeast Baltimore with the goal of providing local residents with nutritious, low-cost food as well as nutrition guidance, meal planning and job training. Maj. Gene A. Hogg, the Salvation Army’s Central Maryland area commander had this to say: “If this works, Baltimore wants us to open two or three more stores.”

The store, which has an on-site butcher and deli, as well as prepared meals and salads by Maryland’s Food Bank, is in a former Salvation Army warehouse that was renovated to offer what Hogg described as “that upper-end grocery store experience” at affordable prices. Inside, it’s bright and spacious, he said, and it features food samplings, recipe ideas, cooking demonstrations and visits by guest chefs and city health department nutritionists.

In addition to providing fresh food, the store will also offer a workforce development program that will help train prospective employees.

This is a great idea and we are thankful that Baltimore is the premier city.

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Salvation Army Opens Its 1st Nonprofit Grocery Store in Baltimore  was originally published on