5.23.2013

Initiative for #QualityACCESS launched to address food deserts in underserved areas of New York


by Brother Jesse Muhammad

The epidemic of food deserts throughout the country is a serious issue that needs even more attention. This is why I was excited about an email I recently received from my longtime brother and friend Hajj Hasaun Muhammad regarding the launching of the Quality Access Initiative.

Beginning in New York, The Quality Access (#QualityACCESS) grocery model is dedicated to providing food deserts in inner-city areas with better access to quality, fresh and natural food and household products. According to the above video, over 23 million Americans live more than a mile away from a supermarket.

"Essentially, we're taking a Trader Joe's approach by providing quality foods at affordable prices to underserved communities (food deserts). Rather than outfitting "big-box" stores, we will roll out in smaller locations to avoid massive operational expenditures- such as high rent- and direct capital to more efficient uses," said Brother Hasaun in the email. "The aim is to establish a sustainable business model that can be scaled for rapid growth to become a significant competitor in the grocery industry."

According to the official website, www.SupportQualityAccess.com, the goals and objectives are to provide customers with the freshest, organic (and whenever possible pesticide-free) fruits and vegetables; offer an assortment of nutritional foods, including items without artificial colors, flavors or additives; sell eco-friendly cleansers, pure natural supplements, and gentle, cruelty-free body care products; and support local and organic farms and suppliers.

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons is also putting his support behind the initiative. To capitalize this innovative grocery model, an Indiegogo.com funding campaign launched this week to reach a minimum goal of $175,000. You can find an overview of #QualityACCESS on the website: www.SupportQualityAccess.com and the Indiegogo.com page.

In all the years I have known Brother Hasaun, he has always aligned himself with initiatives that serve the people! With #QualityACCESS, he's continuing that pattern. I encourage all of my blog readers to read more about this and if you're down with the cause, make a contribution!

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