"A social business is not a charity. It is a business in every sense."
—Nobel Peace Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE is not philanthropy, but an integration of business operations and social impact. In this model, the impact is not an afterthought, but the purpose of the business itself. Demonstrating that business can be both financially sustainable and a vehicle for social change paves the way for bigger impact and greater shared value across our society. A social enterprise model can be organized as an independent start-up, a nonprofit organization, or a program within a large corporation.
The mobile grocery movement has exploded in the last decade to become a leading solution to urban and rural food access issues. My Street Grocery is one of the nation's first mobile grocery programs, and the first to be acquired and operated by a national retailer. The program was honored as a Whole Foods Market Top Innovation in 2014, and has received national attention as an innovator and pioneer in the mobile grocery and food access movement. My Street Grocery was founded in 2011 and acquired by Whole Foods Market in 2013. Amelia serves as an advisor and mentor to mobile grocery start-ups across the US.
In 2013, in partnership with Legacy Health, Amelia piloted the first Food Prescription Program in the Portland Metro Area to provide access to healthy food for patients who suffer from devastating chronic diseases and food insecurity. Program participants receive food prescription vouchers from their healthcare providers to be redeemed at My Street Grocery, which parks at hospitals and clinics, giving them access to nourishing food, as well as practical education and a supportive community. My Street Grocery's prescription program is currently active in ten clinics, ranging from urban to rural locations, and has enrolled hundreds of patients including children, expecting and new mothers, families, and individuals from all walks of life. Preliminary studies show positive mental and physical health outcomes in the majority of participants. Amelia frequently speaks about food access as a health indicator and consults on how to start your own food prescription program.