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5 things: Free to those who need it

Here are five things you may have missed in grocery

San Fran tackles food insecurity: Grocery shoppers facing food insecurity are getting some relief in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco, according to a report from the San Francisco Examiner. The new 4,000-square-foot District 10 Community Market will offer a selection of free groceries to low-income residents and provide a variety of social services. Shoppers must be referred by a community organization and live in select neighborhoods in the city. Officials told the Examiner that it aims to serve around 4,500 residents and 1,500 households. The new store follows a growing trend in other large cities like Chicago, which announced in September that it is exploring the feasibility of opening a city-owned grocery store in an underserved neighborhood. “The city of Chicago is reimagining the role government can play in our lives by exploring a public option for grocery stores via a municipally owned grocery store and market,” Ameya Pawar, senior advisor at the Economic Security Project, said last year. –Tim Inklebarger

Ladies and gentlemen, the shopping cart: About 87 years ago, the first grocery cart was pushed around a store, and about two weeks later one of the wheels became jammed and made annoying noises for everyone to hear. Seriously, though, the invention of the shopping cart, which debuted on June 4, 1937, was revolutionary. Sylvan Goldman, owner of the Humpty Dumpty supermarket chain in Oklahoma, kept on seeing shoppers attempt to lug around heavy items in small hand baskets. There had to be a better way, so one night Goldman teamed with his mechanic friend Fred Young, and the two of them created a prototype: A basket attached to a wooden folding chair with wheels on the legs. The cart had a metal frame with two wire baskets and could fold up to take less space in the store when not in use. Goldman patented his masterpiece, calling it the “folding basket carrier.” However, women at first wanted nothing to do with the convenience because it looked too much like a baby stroller. Eventually they got over their reservations and knew shopping carts meant husbands had no excuses to get all the grocery shopping done. Of course, no invention could prevent the dudes from getting lost in the aisles. —Bill Wilson

Get your dairy, deli, bakery on: The annual IDDBA show is this weekend from June 9 through the 11 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, and yours truly, Executive Editor Chloe Riley, will be IRL handing out the Champions of Change awards! Honoring emerging and established leaders in the retail bakery, deli, foodservice, and dairy sectors. Going to the show? See you there and come say hi! Or, if you’re not attending this year, check out our coverage of the Champions here, as well as our video interview with former IDDBA President and CEO Michael Eardley about what’s trending in dairy, deli, and bakery. Oh, and if you are attending the show: Get ready for cake. And lots of it! —Chloe Riley

Farm to table, hoser: Canada is having a moment with high grocery prices, and it’s driving some shoppers straight to the source — the farm. A recent story reported on The Weather Network notes that shoppers are increasingly subscribing to local farm programs that provide local produce. Many Canadians have been outspoken in their objection to high prices at large chains like Loblaws, launching a boycott earlier this year. In May, research and analytics firm Leger surveyed Canadian shoppers, revealing that more than three-quarters (76%) of consumers in the Atlantic provinces of the country believe prices are higher now than they were two years ago, and nearly a third (29%) believe it’s caused by grocers. The Community Supported Agriculture model now being used by more Canadians is a subscription model that provides packages of locally grown produce that can be picked up or delivered. Local farmers told the news source that the trend is helping their farms and benefits consumers through “transparency, longer shelf life, and better taste, as well as a more intimate connection” to local farms. –TI

Oh, it’s just a prank: If you can’t graduate with honors, graduate with a historic prank. That’s what a group of seniors did in Maryland. The mischief makers from Northeast High School pulled off perhaps one of the most deceitful pranks of all time when they put up a huge sign in Pasadena saying, “Coming Soon, Trader Joe’s, Spring 2025”, along with a QR code (forcing them to take an extra step? SLAY!). The nearest TJ’s is about 30 minutes away. Some TJ loyalists could not be more excited when they saw the sign of beauty. One went to social media to make the grand opening announcement only to later find out it was a senior prank. So what about the QR code? Apparently that led users to a song. Most of the residents took it with a laugh but, you know, payback can be harsh. I would hate to see someone’s college transcripts go missing. —BW

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