Bankhead grocery store gives out free groceries to community

New ‘Grocery Spot’ aims to help residents in need

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - A new local grocery store in Bankhead is working to give people in need more access to nutritious food for free.

One of the main goals for Grocery Spot Atlanta is to help legacy residents stay in their neighborhood by eliminating the cost of food and giving them groceries they can depend on.

In 80-degree weather on Thursday neighbors from around the Bankhead area started lining up as early as nine o’clock to grab the groceries they needed.

“I stay about two blocks from the place so it sure helped me out because I am on a fixed income,” Legacy resident Mr. Brown said. Brown and several other neighbors who were in line said that for years the Bankhead neighborhood didn’t have a convenient and affordable grocery store close by.

Brown said and several other residents who also told CBS46 that they were on a fixed income say sometimes they were having to walk miles at a time or catch multiple buses just to get food.

“This is the only place that has a grocery store and I had to travel so far and I don’t have a car,” Brown said.

Over the last 10 years residents like Miss Pat also told CBS46 that the rising costs in living and in food have changed so much that now they can barely afford to live in the homes that they have occupied for decades.

“I’ve been over here close to 10 years. I pay $1,100 hundred dollars in rent from $725,” Miss Pat said.

According to Miss Pat, the Grocery Spot nonprofit is now making her neighborhood better and more convenient than it has ever been before.

“This is a spot where you don’t just come get groceries. It’s not just a grocery spot it’s a family spot,” Miss Pat said.

Mathew Jones, a retired veteran, told CBS46 that when he moved to Atlanta last year he also had trouble getting access to food close by.

“I got to Bankhead and I realized there was no groceries around to feed my family and I had to travel out to get food,” Jones said when he saw the need it felt like a call to action.

Jones said he decided to take out student loans to buy an old church in the Charlotte Place neighborhood of Bankhead, and he converted it into a retail grocery store.

Unfortunately, he said it was not working out as planned.

“The cost of everything was going up at the time so we had no choice but to raise our prices to and I could tell the residents in the community were having trouble with it. So I decided to take the price of food out of it and transformed it into a nonprofit. Now this is all donation-based.”

He said the donation-based model is helping him keep his shelves stocked with fresh produce and fresh food.

“We say pay what you can, food, clothing or even your time,” Jones said.

Jones said donors and other generous community members will send Insta-carts of food to the location, drop off food in person or they will volunteer and help check people out at the counter.

“It’s really up to the community to keep this going. We want them to know they can trust and lean on us and we know that takes time,” Jones said.

The grocery spot wants this resource to act as additional support for those who are in need.

Jones said that’s why he does not accept food stamps as a form of payment he said it is free and they will continue to operate off donations.

He said so far he has been feeding more than 200 people each day at the Grocery Spot.

The Grocery Spot is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

If you would like to donate funds to the Grocery Spot, Jones says everything goes back into helping keep the store open.

You can text FOODJUSTICE to 44321 to donate or you can click here.

Tori Cooper

Tori Cooper

Tori Cooper comes to CBS46 from 23ABC in Bakersfield, California where she was a multimedia journalist and weekend morning anchor. Tori said she's excited to be back in Atlanta and looks forward to telling the stories of the people in Georgia.