Central California Food Bank opens Fresno’s first free grocery stores

The region’s largest nonprofit focused on ending hunger expects to help thousands of families every month.

Fresno’s first free grocery store is opening its doors on Wednesday to help those facing hunger. 

The Central California Food Bank held a ribbon cutting for First Fruits Market, which is located at City Center at 2025 E. Dakota, on Tuesday. 


Driving the news: First Fruit Market will provide a dignified shopping experience to those in need of food assistance. The store will offer fresh produce, dairy, protein, shelf stable food and other items. 

  • What differentiates First Fruits Market from similar free grocery stores is that it operates a Full Choice Model instead of the traditional pre-packaged food box distributions. 
  • That allows people to have the option to select from over 100 food items. 
  • The Central California Food Bank, which operates the store, says the options of choice aligns with its commitment to serving the community with the highest level of dignity. 
  • First Fruits Market will also offer essential resources such as CalFresh enrollment, access to nutrition information, recipe cards and healthy cooking demos. 
  • The store will be open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

What they’re saying: Central California Food Bank CEO Kym Dildine said First Fruits Market will serve around 2,400 households every month. 

  • “At Central California Food Bank, we believe that the neighbor is the expert of their own dietary needs – what they need, want and like to eat,” Dildine said. “First Fruits Market provides the most dignified emergency food assistance program possible by allowing neighbors to choose what they receive in a grocery store like setting.” 
  • Fresno City Council President Tyler Maxwell added, “Central California Food Bank provides a critical service for our low-income communities. Fresno’s first free grocery store will be a blessing for many families who will now have the opportunity to pick the foods they need whenever they need them and at a convenient location.”
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