Most grocery stores ensure you pay with coupons, cash, or credit cards. However, for a unique supermarket opened in a North Texas high school, you only pay with good deeds.
The unique enterprise, founded with assistance from Texas Health, First Refuge Ministries, and Albertsons, has been a boon to the students, families, and faculty that form the close-knit Linda Tutt High School community in Sanger, Texas.
Students purchase goods via a point system. The currency is based on completing criteria such as helping clean up around the school and forms of positive reinforcement.
Anthony Love (The school’s principal), in an interview with CBS revealed that:
A lot of our students come from low socioeconomic families. It’s a way for students to earn the ability to shop for their families. Through hard work, you can earn points for positive office referrals. You can earn points for doing chores around the building or helping to clean.Anthony Love
But aside from being able to help families cope with food insecurity, students who participate in the program on the sales side are also learning about everything from math and supply management to customer service and a solid work ethic; lessons that will serve them in good stead when they start to look for first jobs.
We all had our first jobs and it taught us how to work, and what you got for your work. I think this will do that for them too, and [also] meet an immediate need.Thomas Muir (Sanger’s mayor)
Hunter Weertman, the grocery store’s student manager says he’s already learned important life skills such as budgeting and making good spending choices based on what you’ve got.
In addition to partnering with local food drives and other neighborhood initiatives, its founders hope that once the program hits its stride, this good deed grocery store can serve as a pilot program for other small communities where food insecurity has become an all-too-common way of life.