While SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) is accepted at more than 250,000 physical stores across the U.S., only a handful accept it online, and more should. The technical hurdles that once existed have been dismantled with new technology made available by the USDA and its partners to ease the process.
We are exploring our call to be The Church in the City through our 2023 Lenten series and devotional, but what does it mean for an individual to actually do this? Two of our members shared how they have been called to live their Christian lives in the world.
Online customers can browse LRB’s website for a variety of fresh food and everyday staples, and upon checkout they can use their EBT card, while in-store SNAP customers can double every dollar spent on fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.
How can people live out their faith in their daily life? SJD parishioner Sam Newman has been in the business of feeding people in one way or another for most of his life. After working for HEB and local non-profit Brighter Bites, Sam opened The Little Red Box grocery in Houston’s Second ward. He was interested not only in selling good healthy food where it’s a challenge to get groceries; he also wanted to engage the community in mission-forward ways that do not produce revenue. Hear from Sam how his personal values transfer to his professional life by naturally engaging in equitable ways with individuals that live fundamentally different lives.
Since opening his doors last year, Newman has also challenged himself to address other issues often correlated with poor food access, such as high rates of obesity and a dearth of healthful food options. He started a meal kit program to tackle nutrition and food education. Each month, Little Red Box publishes a recipe card for a healthy meal, curates the ingredients and offers chef’s notes on how to best prepare the meal in partnership with the national nonprofit Cooking Matters.
Little Red Box Grocery is doing big things. Founded by H-E-B veteran and nonprofit leader Samuel Newman, the independent small-format grocer in Houston’s Second Ward aims to improve accessibility to affordable foods while engaging and empowering the community, which had been considered a food desert.
More than 500,000 Houston households are in food deserts, which means there is no grocery store for at least a mile, and often in these low-income neighborhoods, there's also a lack of education on how to cook and eat a healthy diet.
Small-format community market Little Red Box Grocery, which is located in Houston’s underserved Second Ward, has teamed up with The Arena Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The Woodlands, Texas-based Arena Energy LLC, an independent oil and gas exploration company focused on the Gulf of Mexico Shelf, to tackle the pervasive issue of food deserts.
In an effort to provide more access to healthy foods in the Second Ward, a USDA-designated food desert, Cooking Matters and Little Red Box Grocery (LRB) have teamed up to create a menu of affordable meal kits with various recipe options for residents and families in East End Houston. Currently, 1 in 5 kids face hunger in Texas and as the holiday season approaches, food-insecure children face an increased risk of going hungry due to the gap in school meal accessibility.