Rapper Gunna Opens Free Grocery Store in Atlanta School to Fight Child Hunger

Photo: (Photo : Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BMI)

Hip-hop artist Gunna has opened a free grocery store where kids can take any food, especially if they're struggling with child hunger, at his former middle school in Atlanta.

Gunna's Drip Closet and Goodr Grocery is a collaboration with Jasmine Crowe, the founder of Goodr, a non-profit that aims to stop child hunger and maximize food waste. Gunna, whose real name is Sergio Giavanni Kitchens, financed the shop, stocked with frozen meals, cans of goods, and boxes of clothing, toiletries, and even sneakers.

Ronald E. McNair Middle School principal John Madden said that it's their own mini-Walmart within the campus, which will provide "great relief" for families who wonder where they can get their next meals during this pandemic.

Madden said that their community had a high poverty rate even before the pandemic. However, the public health crisis has impacted more families and students who do not get to eat dinner or breakfast since they lack the means to shop.

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A Permanent Initiative

Crowe told Today that Goodr had managed several pop-up grocery shops in the last five years, but Gunna's Drip Closet and Goodr Grocery will be a permanent initiative thanks to the rapper's support. Gunna's association will help shut down the kids' stigma about taking free items at the shop.

The store has an online facility as well for parents to place their orders which will then be given to their children when they are in school. On the other hand, families without internet access may registers for the supplies at the school administration.

Gunna was at the free grocery store's grand opening with Crowe and was happy to see that it had everything he wanted. He also gave a speech to the students, advising them to stay focused on school.

"It just makes me feel like I'm doing what needs to be done for my community," Gunna said.

Crowe thanked the rapper for his help in diminishing child hunger. If funds allow, the advocate plans to open more free grocery stores in cities where most people could barely get by on minimum wage.

Child Hunger in the U.S.

At least 17 million kids struggle with child hunger in the U.S., which both Gunna and Crowe experienced as kids in Atlanta. She decided to do something about this crisis by launching Goodr in 2017 as a food recovery service that gathers excess food items from businesses coursed through non-profits.

In the years since Goodr has been in operation, Crowe realized that they still need to do more. Thus, the free grocery shop idea was born. The hope is for Crowe to tap more celebrities and companies to sponsor future Goodr stores.

In the meantime, the shop inside Ronald E. McNair Middle School will continue to provide for the kids and their families until the school year. It will temporarily close during the summer, but supplies will be distributed before the summer break.

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