OKC grocery store’s reward program helps fight hunger

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A metro grocery store is gaining attention for how it’s helping to fight hunger.

Public Wholesale and Food Market is located near Northwest 16th and Drexel.

Customers get a reward point for each dollar they spend. Those points can be used towards technically expired items.

“The reaction that we get from people coming in they just cannot believe it,” said store owner, Joey Abbo.

Abbo founded the nonprofit Needs Foundation after seeing students who were food insecure while teaching public school.

The foundation helped to pass the Josephine Meade Anti-Hunger Act in 2013. The act allows grocers, restaurants and all other food distributors to donate their food surplus free of liability.

Since they opened six months ago, Abbo says about half of his customers take part in the program, that’s an estimated 6,000 customers a month getting help.

“To see that this food that is edible, but for some peoples’ eyes in the grocery store it’s not saleable, but it’s edible, but it doesn’t go in the trash. So we’re kind of bridging that gap between hunger and food surplus and to see that it’s feeding people and nourishing people in the community. It feels really good, “ said Abbo.

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