On August 23rd from 6-8pm, United Parents & Students will be celebrating Grocery Outlet Inglewood’s receipt of the first United Parents & Students Certified Store of Excellence Seal with a Shopping Day! Families that shop during this time at the store will receive 10% off any purchase over $15!
United Parents & Students is a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the factors outside school boundaries that not only pose barriers to learning, but also inhibit local quality of life. These issues include safe streets, clean streets, affordable housing, fair jobs & wages, and food justice. We work with thousands of parents and students who live in South LA, East LA, South Central, Inglewood, and Compton. One of the main issues families want to address is the quality of food available in their local grocery stores. Often, their local stores sell rotting produce, expired dairy and meat products, lack cleanliness, and have limited offerings.
In response, United Parents & Students developed a food justice campaign. Together, families developed an evaluation process to hold grocery stores accountable for their food quality. The report card outlines standards such as:
•At least 10 different varieties of fresh produce offered.
•At least 2/3 of each produce variety is edible (not rotten, brown, moldy, spoiled, bruised or wilted).
•No expired dairy or meat products.
•No mold present on dairy products.
•Anonymous reporting system for workers to report violations with a protection for workers from retaliation.
•Clean interior and exterior areas of the business premises, including shelf spaces. No foul odors.
•Adequate lighting within the business premises, throughout the parking lot, and at all entrances and exits.
•Calfresh and/or WIC accepted.
•Safe parking lot.
The standards were developed in collaboration with the LA Food Policy Council. Stores that meet the standards earn a United Parents & Students Certified Store of Excellence seal to alert community members to its quality. Families granted Grocery Outlet Inglewood the first seal in late June to not only recognize the store but to also incentivize the store to maintain its high quality long-term. The store is now being used as an exemplar for the stores we are pressuring for improvement in the coming months.
The ultimate goal of the campaign is to encourage the City and County to institutionalize a similar program. Though public health currently grades grocery stores, the department primarily assesses temperature control and baby formula expiration dates, and does not account for rotting produce, meat, dairy, etc. United Parents & Students is dedicated to ensuring that stores are also held accountable for food quality.
For the shopping day on the 23rd, families just need to visit the United Parents & Students table to receive their discount code.
Quotes from United Parents and Students leaders:
“I think it’s very important to the community to have access to healthy nutritious food options. For far too long fast food on every corner has taken a toll on the health of low income communities, having fresh food options that is convenient to home can have a huge impact on the overall quality of life. Nutritious food can change how disease and poor health can plague areas that are saturated with unhealthy food options.” –Parent Leader Keisha Mitchell
“The food justice campaign is important to me because I believe that all families should have equal access to affordable high quality food. We should be able to walk into the grocery stores in our communities and see fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy items and great prices. I have to travel outside of my community to have that experience and that’s not okay. I want to be able to shop in my community. That is why I support Grocery Outlet in Inglewood. Not only are they selling quality food but they are also providing jobs and uplifting their community” –Parent Leader Isela Castro