Special Delivery – Getting Produce to L.A. San Miguel

LASM Delivery 061715

By Ailene Ignacio

One of the biggest things we’ve done with our Fresh HiFi – corner store transformation – Project is get FRESH, AFFORDABLE, & CULTURALLY-RELEVANT produce in low-income, underserved food desert communities, including Historic Filipinotown.

After a store’s transformation (which you can read about in previous blog posts),  the real work begins, namely KEEPING PRODUCE AT THE STORE. For many small markets, this is their biggest challenge yet, and usually receive little to no assistance in procuring products at an affordable price for them. Last week, I was able to  help one of our Fresh HiFi corner stores – L.A. San Miguel – with this challenge by going on a “produce run” for the owner, Cecilia!

So the breakdown of the “produce run” is pretty simple. I confirmed what items Cecilia wanted the day before going to “the old market.” The next morning, I arrived at the market around 7:30 am (yes, I was that early, and would still be considered a straggler since most purchases happen in the earlier hours of the morning)! I made my rounds to buy Cecilia’s items. After I was done, I delivered the produce Cecilia had wanted, and she pays me back the money I spent on those items. We’ve tried the “pay in advance” method before, but since prices do fluctuate regularly, such a system would be a bit more complicated, so this system works best for now…

BUT IMAGINE: Wouldn’t it be great if we had a solid system built around connecting smaller farmers to smaller businesses? Could this be the missing piece that would foster stronger long-term success stores, such as L.A. San Miguel?

Please feel free to share your thoughts with us!

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