West Oakland Community Members Gain Access to Local, Organic Food

The “People’s Grocery” brings healthy food to communities in need.

Liquor stores were once the main places to do grocery shopping in West Oakland. That changed, however, with the formation of “The People’s Grocery”, a successful cooperative movement that has brought nutritious, organic food to the area.

What was the problem?

  • There were at least 53 liquor stores in West Oakland, but no grocery store.
  • Heavily processed and packaged foods were the main food options.
  • Money was flowing out of community through fast food restaurants and other businesses. 
  • People were developing health issues related to diet, a common problem among low-income minority populations like that of West Oakland.


What did they do about it?

The People’s Grocery was formed to bring fresh, local produce to the area. Its three main programs include:

  • Adult cooking classes – to educate community members about how to cook healthy foods.
  • Urban agriculture – Three community gardens were set up in West Oakland to allow people to reconnect with the source of their food. 
  • Food distribution program – Community members pick up a box full of seasonal, organic produce in their neighborhood on a weekly basis. The food comes from nearby local, organic farms.