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October 2014

An Ethically Appropriate Strategy to Combat Obesity and Food Insecurity: The Urban Food Initiative

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Codman Square Health Center, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Kraft Center for Community Health, Partners Healthcare, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 4Department of Medical Ethics, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(10):881-882. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.1154

On February 26, 2013, Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s grocery chain, announced his plans for the Urban Food Initiative (UFI). The goals are to address obesity, food insecurity, and food waste by opening nonprofit supermarkets in low-income neighborhoods and providing nutritious low-cost foods. To accomplish this, he proposed selling food gathered from the 11% of fresh produce and perishables that are discarded from other supermarkets, some of which is near or past the sell-by date. The first store, named the Daily Table, has been proposed to open in Dorchester, a low-income neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts. The store will be housed in a building owned by and just down the street from Codman Square Health Center, a federally qualified community-based health center. The store is among several initiatives aimed at curbing obesity and will sell low-cost produce and healthy prepared foods, as well as offer cooking classes.1

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