Target: Brahm Ahmadi, founder of the People’s Community Market
Goal: Commend food activist for opening a community market in a neighborhood lacking in fresh food
Brahm Ahmadi, a food justice activist from Oakland is planning to open a grocery store called the People’s Community Market in the San Francisco Bay Area neighborhood of West Oakland. The community is one of many food deserts in the country; it has no grocery stores, and residents must either travel out of the neighborhood for fresh food or rely on liquor stores and fast food restaurants for their meals. In addition to bringing fresh and healthful food to the community, funding will come partly from California residents investing in the store so that it can truly belong to the community.
Ahmadi plans to involve the community in every aspect of the market. In addition to allowing the community to become shareholders in the store, he will ensure that half of the market’s employees are residents of West Oakland in order to increase job opportunities in the area. The market will include a cafe so that the community will have a place to gather, and there will be regular community events in the store. To address the health problems that affect a large percentage of the community because of the lack of fresh food, the store will hold classes on nutrition and give health advice to residents.
Although supermarket chains have opened in West Oakland, none have been able to survive, and Ahmadi’s research on the reasons for the markets’ failure will ensure that the People’s Community Market will not suffer the same fate. Large supermarkets do not adapt to fit the communities in which they are located, and they cannot provide the training and benefits that employees in low-income neighborhoods like West Oakland need. The People’s Community Market will be smaller than most major supermarkets and focus on fresh produce to accommodate the specific needs of the community.
The People’s Community Market will bring much needed jobs and money to West Oakland while also addressing the lack of fresh food and resulting health problems that affect many of the neighborhood’s residents. This market will be more than just a grocery store; it will involve the community in every way possible, and bring necessary changes to transform the community. Ahmadi should be commended for his commitment to bringing these positive changes to West Oakland.
Dear Mr. Ahmadi,
I would like to commend you for your plan to open the People’s Community Market in West Oakland. The market will not only address health problems resulting from a lack of fresh food, but it will bring jobs to the community and help the local economy.
In addition to providing much needed fresh food and health information to the neighborhood, your decision to involve the community in all aspects of the store and to accommodate the specific needs of the community will help guarantee the success of the market. Aside from giving residents the option to invest in the market, it will be a place for residents to gather and work together as a community.
Thank you for your commitment to addressing the health and economic problems in West Oakland, and for using your market as a way to build community and improve quality of life, rather than simply opening a business.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Rambling Traveler via Flickr.