Over the past 40 years, our family owned business Northgate González Market has been serving hundreds of thousands of customers each week across our 41 stores in Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego and more recently Riverside County. Northgate Market is committed to creating healthier communities and fighting food insecurity, and as a result, developed Viva la Salud, a comprehensive health and wellness initiative in 2010. To support our wellness and community pillars, we partner with local and national nonprofits, health providers, government programs, schools and vendors year round to provide resources and services to our communities. In collaboration with our partners across Southern California, Northgate Market has worked to combat food insecurity in our communities through various programs such as our ¡Más Fresco! More Fresh Nutrition Incentive Program since 2017, voucher programs and more! More recently, Northgate Market has been working with old and new partners in creative ways to help provide food to families who have been affected during the pandemic. Northgate Market has assisted with utilizing store locations as warehouse to store food, lending our transportation team for deliveries, associates to support food drives, refrigerated trucks to store perishable foods, forklifts for events and also supported organizations like the Latino Health Access by shopping and bagging groceries for families who have been affected by COVID-19 and are quarantined. We have created multiple voucher programs with exclusions of items like alcohol, liquor, tobacco and pet food for families who have been identified and in need of assistance.
Northgate Market is partnered with the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, Center for Community Health on the ¡Más Fresco! More Fresh Nutrition Incentive Program. SNAP recipients who enroll in this program earn one dollar for every SNAP benefit dollar spent on fresh fruits and vegetables at participating Northgate Markets, up to $40 per month to be used to purchase additional fresh produce. In addition, at Northgate Market, we work with vendors and local partners to provide fresh food and warm meals to vulnerable families. For example, we create vouchers that we distribute to partners for families who have been identified as homeless or in need of assistance. During this pandemic, Northgate Market’s resolve to help communities is even stronger. Northgate Market has committed over $300,000 in grassroot partnerships to support and sustain community efforts across Southern California.
To increase access to food for residents by allowing our communities to have a full-service grocery store in their community. Nearly one-third of all our Northgate Market stores are in underserved communities, where 50 percent or more of the community members are living at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. In addition to increasing access to healthy food for residents of underserved communities, we are also working to enhance economic development through job creation and inclusive economic development and to enhance racial and social equity by supporting and enhancing equitable access to food and jobs.
Last year, from October thru December 2019, we donated 500 Turkey Vouchers where families receive a free frozen turkey, 300 Tamale Vouchers for families to receive warm half dozens of tamales for free and over 60 warm Thanksgiving meals for homeless families in the City of Riverside. We are committed to our most vulnerable community members during COVID-19 pandemic by continuing our partnerships to help people who live and work by our grocery stores. We donated over 50,000 bags of tortillas to support food distribution efforts across Southern California. We provided over 5,000 meals for health care providers at local hospitals, X frozen meals through Meals on Wheels at Northgate Markets and distributed 75,000 coupons to Los Angeles residents receiving Angeleno cards. We have supported over 80 local and government programs with food drives by providing in kind donations, bulk sale at cost, and matching/ donating gift cards. We hosted a Back to School Food Drive in our South Gate location (opening 2021) serving 550 families. We have assisted organizations like the Power of One Foundation (POOF) by allowing them to use our Costa Mesa location (opening 2021) as a warehouse to supply food to banks across Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties since May 2020. Through our partnership with POOF, we have helped serve 311,137 family’s meals through our contributions. We also collectively raised over 180,000 lbs. of food at Northgate Market through our 2 Ways 2 Give program that will donate to food banks in California.
“It is through these trying times we realize just how much our communities are in need. The Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on so many things: on public health, on economic stability and obviously on food insecurity. Celebrating its 40th Anniversary, Northgate Market over the years has made giving back to the communities where they do business as a top priority. This year alone the grocery store chain has awarded more than $215,000 in scholarships and donated $300,000 in food and other items to local families,” said Northgate Market Co-President Miguel González.
Kid Healthy is a proud partner with Northgate Gonzalez Markets; their support of the Cooking up Change program since 2012 has been instrumental in its success. Teresa Blanco’s leadership within our Community Advisory Council, and the Northgate staff, provide the tools and access to vital programming, fundraising, and growth on behalf of low-income students and families. To date the Cooking up Change program has served up over 320 student - created, cafeteria ready, recipes; engaged 237 student chef competitors; provided $65,500 in student scholarships; raised over $400,000 toward vital student leadership programming; and served 18 low-income high schools in 8 school districts for the last 8 years. The Orange County event has also produced 6 national championship teams.