San Francisco Opens ‘Free’ Grocery Store

San Francisco, California, opened a new store that provides “free” groceries.

The Community Market in District 10 is advertised as a “food empowerment market” that offers a “wide selection of free groceries,” according to a press release. The market targets those who are “experiencing food insecurity.”

“The opening of the Community Market in District 10 is a major step toward improving food access in a part of the City that has historically been a food desert,” Mayor London Breed (D) said. “Equitable access to fresh and healthy food options is critical for communities to thrive and to ensure we take care of the City’s most vulnerable residents.”

Those with access to the store include residents of the 94124 zip code, one of the “lowest income neighborhoods” in the city, the press release notes. Other zip codes included in the grocery store are 94107 and 94134.

Community organizations will also provide “free and nutritious food assistance” to residents.

Despite claims that the market is “free,” the endeavor is funded by a $5.5 million taxpayer-funded grant.

The San Francisco Human Services Agency requested a grant worth “$5,000,000 plus a 10% contingency for a total amount not to exceed $5,500,000” for the period of July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2024.

The purpose of the grant was to “develop a Food Empowerment Market Pilot in District 10” which would “offer community members experiencing food insecurity a free or low-cost market to access food items including groceries and cooking supplies.”

Geoffrea Morria, a leading voice behind the “free” grocery store, told The Center Square that the store is meant to be a “supplemental” source.

“Food stamps should be the primary source. This is a supplemental source especially close to the end of the month when families are facing the pain, especially with inflation,” Morris said.

San Francisco is also reportedly providing beer and vodka for the homeless under a taxpayer-funded pilot program.

The California Health Care Foundation said the program is “one method to minimize harm for those with alcohol use disorder.”

“By prescribing limited quantities of alcohol, the model aims to prevent potentially life-threatening effects of alcohol withdrawal, such as seizures and injuries,” the foundation added.