An interview with social entrepreneur Doug Rauch on his solution to food insecurity

Date01 August 2019
Published date01 August 2019
An interview with social entrepreneur Doug Rauch on his
solution to food insecurity
Janine M. Jurkowski
Department of Health Policy, Management, and Behavior, University at Albany School of Public Health, Rensselaer, New York, NY, USA
Janine M. Jurkowski, Department of Health Policy, Management, and Behavior, University at Albany School of Public Health, Rensselaer, New York, USA.
From LinkedIn: Founder/President at Daily Table (Greater Boston
Area) since June 2012
Doug Rauch came up with the ideas for the Daily Table (About Us,
n.d.) while a Fellow at Harvard's Advanced Leadership Initiative
(About, n.d.) that aims to change the concept of retirement and
encourage experienced leaders to help improve the world. Doug
retired from Trader Joe's, a national chain of neighborhood grocery
stores with over 475 stores across the United States, after 31 years
(Our Story, n.d.). He has spent the last 14 years as Founder and Presi-
dent of Daily Table, a not-for-profit retail store that provides tasty,
convenient and affordable foodfor its community in Dorchester,
Massachusetts. The Daily Table offers a clean and friendly environ-
mentwith grocery items and ready-to-eat meals and designed to be
affordable for every budget. Doug is co-CEO of Conscious Capitalism,
Inc., an organization that helps people and companies become more
conscious with experiences that inspire, educate and empower them
to elevate humanity through business(Conscious Capitalism., Inc.
About, 2018). Daily Table is considered a model for addressing food
insecurity that may be effective and sustainable.
D: Anytime you try to tackle a major social challenge, you are by defi-
nition, into a systemic problem. There is not a single vector or single
bullet that can solve the problem of food insecurity. As a result, when
you start looking at who your partners are, they are multichannel and
multisector. So they are everything from the fact that we partnered
with one of the largest and most innovative health centers in Boston,
Codman Square Health Center, which is a very large health center.
They serve about 30,000 client visits a year. They're very innovative.
So we partner with them. We lease space from them out of a building
they have on their campus. We've created a whole store that's in a
building that also has a non-profit full gym and fitness called
Healthworks. Doctors write prescriptions for people at risk. For
90 days, people can work out with a trainer and a spa and all that, and
then there's a table which has truly affordable nutrition, food they
should be eating at prices that compete with empty calorie foods. So
that's one partner on one side. On the other side, we have a number
of partners that are people that are in the food space whether it's the
Food Bank, Food for Free in Cambridge, or Boston Area Gleaners,
which are nonprofit organizations that go out and collect beautiful
produce out of the farms in between pickings, where they have volun-
teers to go out and glean product. We get beautiful fresh produce
that's locally grown. For instance, yesterday, we had summer squash
at 49 cents a pound, literally that was the day before on the plant. I
would challenge someone to find a nicer quality, fresher product. So
those are partners that help us on with the supply. We also have part-
ners like Hane Celestial, which, the company says, is the largest pro-
ducer of organic food in the world. And they work with us to help
bring really affordable good quality food by giving us an opportunity
to either donate product to us and/or buy product at deep discounts
or product that is short code. For them, that can mean anything that's
56 months old. It has a date on it that may say February 2019, or it
may be a month old depending on the product. We don't sell anything
past its code date, but we sell things right up to their code date.
So we have partners in the supply side, food space, and in the
community space. We have also our community advisory board. And
then we have a number of financial partners. The Pepsico Foundation,
which does great work, has been actually incredible supportive of the
DOI: 10.1002/pa.1997
J Public Affairs. 2019;19:e1997. © 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 1of3

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