ATL-based Goodr Teams with Gunna to Put a Free Grocery and Clothing Store in Atlanta’s McNair Middle School
Mike JordanSeptember 17, 2021
Jasmine Crowe, CEO and founder of Atlanta-based Goodr, is as cool as a cucumber when I ask her on a cloudy Friday morning how she’s doing.
After all, it’s a day after the successful launch of “Gunna’s Grocery Store and Drip Closet,” the collaboration between the very famous Atlanta trap music star and her company, a food management platform that leverages technology to fight food waste through food surplus management and distribution.
The store, now open at Atlanta’s Ronald E. McNair Middle School and funded with an initial gift from Gunna, was Crowe’s brainchild. It will operate as a free resource for McNair’s 900 students — 67 percent of which live in poverty, according to information shared with Crowe from McNair’s principal — using Goodr’s logistics capabilities to provide both food and clothing, completely free of charge.
Obviously that’s a good thing. Crowe’s preview announcement on Twitter went super-viral in a day.
Tomorrow I’m opening my first grocery store in a Title One school. I doubt I sleep tonight – imagine a parent between checks who can order dinner and breakfast for their family thru our app and their child bring it home. I’m changing lives man, no one does it like me. Just wait! pic.twitter.com/YBc8TwlGF0— Jasmine Crowe (@jasminecrowe) September 16, 2021
Unfortunately when you’re a legitimate do-gooder whose chosen area of service is combating food insecurity — perhaps regardless of whatever you choose to do — you get negative energy. In Crowe’s case, that showed up first in the form of death threats that followed her post (coincidentally enough, she posted the viral update from her iPhone while attending a private Butter.ATL event).
While I am so shocked that this has caused me to receive death threats, horrible emails even people wishing death on my innocent child – I will never feel bad for trying to do good. I have been feeding people for many years and everyone that knows me – know this. God Bless. pic.twitter.com/Sxgb3UoUr1— Jasmine Crowe (@jasminecrowe) September 16, 2021
“Next thing you know, I started getting people threatening me, like ‘Oh, it looks like a 7-11 — you’re the reason for childhood diabetes. I hope you and your daughter both die of diabetes.’ I mean, it was just crazy,” she said.
“I haven’t even looked through all the comments because the tweet had kinda gone viral. I’ve been doing myself a favor and not looking at it. But obviously the good outweighs the bad; there are definitely a lot more positive responses.”
Crowe wants to make it clear that there’s much more to the store than what social media audiences may have seen so far. The setup includes two freezers and a refrigerator that has a vegan section, and fresh fruit is also offered.
The store is budgeted for 12 months. Crowe says it will be restocked weekly, and will also feature hygiene products, laundry detergent and more.
Along with Gunna’s generosity, they’ve got donated shoes from Reebok and Foot Locker, and are looking for additional funding so that Goodr can open more such stores around the country with more partners.
Funding will also come from pre-order sales of Everybody Eats, Crowe’s soon-to-be-published children’s book about combating hunger and food waste. You can get more details and pre-order the book at EverybodyEatsBook.com.
And while she freely admits the store is “not Whole Foods,” she asserts that what Goodr and Gunna have collaborated to accomplish is an example of meeting families where they are.
“The thing people have to understand,” she continued, “is you’ve gotta get kids stuff that they’re gonna eat. We’re not gonna just fill the grocery store with Kashi and things of that nature when these are middle school kids.”
And of course, there’s that age-old problem of Black women doing amazing things but not being given their proper flowers. She’s worked with Gunna on a variety of projects donating clothing, healthy foods and more to those in need, both in Atlanta and elsewhere, including giving four trucks worth of supplies to 2,000 families in Houston following the record-breaking ice storm last winter.
Last week in Houston @Wale and I put in that work to help provide over 3000 families with food and supplies thanks to @1GunnaGunna pic.twitter.com/nFa4morbkD— shownolove (@ate8atedoe) March 9, 2021
Still, some Atlanta news outlets completely skipped over crediting Crowe or Goodr for the project, opting to tell the story as if it were 100-percent conceived and executed by the YSL rapper. FYI, that happens a lot when a legit star is involved with a good cause. And while Gunna’s help is clearly appreciated and celebrated by Crowe, she wants to be clear that Goodr came up with and delivered the project.
“I do think the celebrity aspect showed how it was funded. But I think it’s important to say, you know, we did everything. And even yesterday, that was Gunna’s first time seeing it. It was a surprise for him and his family.”
She knows who came up with the budget and managed buildout, purchasing and the rest, so Crowe isn’t letting the slights distract from the goal or create any fissures. It’s unfortunately something she’s come to expect.
“We’ve definitely been doing this work for so long,” she says. “I think me being a black woman trying to solve the problem, you know… I think other people, they get these stories, because they have like the hero syndrome, right?
“Hunger disproportionately affects Black and brown people, and I’m trying to solve it,” she continues. “But because I’m solving a problem that really affects people that look like me, no one wants to tell their story. It looks better when there are people that look opposite of us trying to solve a problem that is, you know, affecting us because now it looks like they’re the heroes, and they’re saving the day. So I very rarely get a lot of stories about that.”
The end result is the same. Middle school kids in Atlanta, and their families, now have a whole new way to put food on their dinner tables, and a new model for solving child hunger and food insecurity is sprouting. Who has time to worry about social media lunatics or who gets all the credit when you’re doing the actual work and creating a way forward?
Not Jasmine Crowe. She’ll be staying busy, and expects the rest to handle itself.
“Media just finds a way to tell the stories that they want to tell.”