Brookdale ShopRite Inc., a family-owned business with ShopRite stores in Newark and Bloomfield, N.J., has become the first food retailer to receive a grant under the Food Retail Innovation in Delivery Grant (FRIDG) Program. It will use the $250,000 grant to purchase a temperature-controlled locker and install it at the Shani Baraka Women’s Resource Center in Newark’s South Ward, a designated Food Desert Community (FDC).
FRIDG is an innovative New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) program that helps expand access to fresh and affordable groceries. The program allows food retailers to purchase and install lockers to expand food delivery options for FDC residents. The FRIDG lockers provide a safe, convenient location where grocery orders – including fresh produce and dairy – will stay fresh until they are picked up at a convenient time for the shopper.
Once the South Ward locker is installed, residents will be able to place online grocery orders from the Brookdale ShopRite, including orders eligible for purchase with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Brookdale ShopRite has also committed to waiving all delivery fees for groceries delivered to the locker.
“Parents with small children, caregivers to the sick, people with transportation or mobility issues, the elderly, and those with health conditions often find it difficult to get to supermarkets for the widest selection of goods and prices,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “This innovative program brings a supermarket in one area of our city to the residents in another – and through the generosity of ShopRite of Newark, all delivery fees are covered.”
The Shani Baraka Women’s Resource Center is located on 300 Clinton Avenue. The center provides support, care and protection for women and their families going through crisis or transition.
“Residents across Newark’s South Ward will now have more options for grocery delivery, reducing structural and logistical barriers that exist for many hardworking families,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan. “As we continue to combat food insecurity through creative and innovative initiatives, New Jersey remains a leader in the national fight against hunger.”
Food retailers with at least one physical location in New Jersey can apply for up to $250,000 in funding to purchase and install self-contained temperature-controlled lockers in one of New Jersey’s 50 designated FDCs. Eligible companies must be authorized to accept online orders paid with SNAP benefits.
“We are committed to increasing access to fresh and affordable food and supporting community initiatives that make a difference in people’s lives,” said Neil Greenstein, owner of Brookdale ShopRite Inc. “We’re excited about the opportunity to expand grocery delivery options to Newark’s South Ward by participating in the FRIDG program, and look forward to deepening our connections with the residents of the vibrant city of Newark.”
Greenstein is a third-generation grocer whose family’s supermarkets have served Essex County for nearly 75 years. The company’s ShopRite of Newark opened its doors in September 2015 and has played a key role in the city’s revitalization efforts by creating economic and job-training opportunities for residents, and through its support of community groups such as the Boys and Girls Club of Newark and the Greater Newark Conservancy.
Greenstein’s grandparents joined retailer-owned supermarket cooperative Wakefern Food Corp. in 1952. Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern comprises nearly 50 members that independently own and operate 360-plus supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Together with its member companies, Wakefern employs nearly 80,000 people. The company is No. 29 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.