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City Market in San Francisco offers free groceries to food stamp users, Costing taxpayers $5.5 million

San Francisco, California – On Sunday, San Francisco launched a city market designed to provide free groceries to eligible residents, a venture that is costing the city’s taxpayers approximately $5.5 million.

The initiative, called the Food Empowerment Market, targets residents who use food stamps and often find themselves short of resources as the month draws to a close. Geoffrea Morris, who championed this initiative within the city’s legislative body in 2021, emphasized that the market is intended to be a supplementary food source, not the only source.

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“This is a supplemental source for food. Food stamps should be the primary source. This is a supplemental source especially close to the end of the month when families are facing the pain, especially with inflation,” Morris said as reported by Fox News. “If you’re having food insecurity you’re having other issues as well and you need to be engaged with the services the city has put in place to improve your life and the life of your children,” Morris said.

The layout of the market is similar to that of a standard American grocery store, where customers can pick up a cart and select their groceries along various aisles. Items are weighed and scanned at checkouts to maintain inventory control. Like many urban areas in California, San Francisco is also dealing with significant homelessness issues.

Just a few weeks ago, a city initiative to provide free beer and vodka to homeless alcoholics sparked considerable anger among some San Francisco residents. This controversy centers around the “Managed Alcohol Program” (MAP), a project of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. The program offers controlled amounts of alcohol to willing participants who struggle with severe alcoholism, aiming to keep them off the streets and reduce strain on emergency services.

Proponents of MAP argue that it has the potential to save lives or even extend them. However, many critics question whether these funds might be more effectively used for treatment and sobriety programs instead.

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A resident of San Francisco voiced concerns over the ethical implications, describing alcoholism as a disease—an obsession of the mind that becomes an allergic reaction of the body, one that sufferers cannot control. This resident feels that by supplying alcohol, the city may actually be enabling harmful behaviors, ultimately leading to tragic outcomes like death or institutionalization.

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