The Salvation Army has added healthy grocery shopping to its mission, and we are all the way here for it!

Opening its first full-service grocery store in Baltimore on Wednesday, the nonprofit is combatting hunger in disadvantaged neighborhoods that don't always sell fresh meat and produce.

A former Salvation Army warehouse was completely renovated to create the store. Maj. Gene A. Hogg, the Salvation Army’s Central Maryland area commander, told HuffPost on Monday that the store is bright and spacious, and it features food samplings, recipe ideas, cooking demonstrations and visits by guest chefs and city health department nutritionists.

The store is equipped with an onsite butcher and deli and also offers prepared meals provided by Maryland's Food Bank.

Hogg mentioned, “If this works, Baltimore wants us to open two or three more stores."

“The idea is to strengthen the family table,” he said. “We want to do more than just sell groceries.”

Across the street from an elementary school, the grocery store makes it easy for parents to pick up and drop off their children before visiting the store to shop for their families.

The city’s definition of a food desert includes more than 30 percent of the surrounding households having no vehicle access and the median household income at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. 

Among the store opening attendees was Mayor Catherine Pugh, who said she was honored to cut the ribbon.


“This serves as a beacon for the rest of this community. If we can do this here, we can do this in other parts of the city,” she said according to local station WJZ.