Flint Community Grocery, powered by Fresh Start CDC, launched its first pop-up grocery store on Saturday, April 16, 2016, on the campus of New Jerusalem Full Gospel Baptist Church located at 1035 E. Carpenter Road.

Flint residents were encouraged to come out and shop for high-quality produce and other premium all-natural food products. RushCard, a prepaid debit card company co-founded by Russell Simmons, made a donation to support the effort.

Flint Community Grocery is a local initiative to provide access to better quality wholesome and organic food products to the residents of Flint, Michigan. Fresh Start CDC is a non-profit organization that was established in 2014 by New Jerusalem Full Gospel Baptist Church to enhance economic development in Flint and surrounding communities by providing a one-stop model to enhance the availability of nutritional foods and preventative healthcare for residents of north Flint.

Residents were provided with a high-quality shopping experience that aimed to assist in addressing the immediate need for fresh food to help combat the effects of lead poisoning. Within the past two years, three full-service grocery stores in Flint have permanently closed their doors with little notice, creating a food desert. Nutrition and cooking classes were also provided at no cost to community members to help them learn fun and creative new meals to prepare with fresh produce.

“What’s happening in Flint is a reflection of how both the government, with the water crisis, and the private sector, with the fresh food shortage, have fallen short in serving community needs,” said Russell Simmons. “As a natural extension of our ongoing effort to provide for underserved communities, RushCard is supporting this emergency pop-up in hopes it will highlight the reality of food deserts across this country. We invite citizens and corporations to join in supporting this effort.”

RushCard’s support of Flint Community Grocery is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to support the people of Flint. In February, RushCard co-founder Russell Simmons visited Flint to distribute 150,000 bottles of drinking water to RushCard customers and called on other corporations to step up and support the people of Flint during the water crisis.

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