Keeping Food Dollars from Leaking out of the Community


The daily transaction of money for food is so routine, it’s easy to miss just how powerful that moment truly is.

One visualization that can help re-pattern our food shopping experience is imagining food dollar ‘leakage’. How much of the food dollar we hand (or swipe) over is destined to exit (or ‘leak out’ of) our community and how much of it circles back into it?

To help us see the “leakage” happening right before our eyes, it’s worth paying attention to the trucks that roll down our streets and highways and pull in and out of the loading docks of the grocery giants. We can easily identify these trucks as being filled with food but as they roll out of town post-delivery, what are the trucks taking with them? They’re taking community wealth and community possibility— shipped away to distant head offices and distant shareholders. Visualize those trucks filled with cash… it’s more or less what’s inside!

Jon Steinman