Knoxville church opens food market giving free groceries to people

Forward Church in Knoxville opens a food market, giving free groceries to people and families in need.
Forward Church in Knoxville opens a food market, giving free groceries to people and families in need.
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 10:09 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2023 at 10:25 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - On Tuesday, Forward Church in Knoxville opened its first Forward Market, providing free groceries to more than 160 people in need.

Jessica Florea, the founder of Forward Market, said it partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank and other nonprofit organizations to make it possible for the community to get the food.

“We’re just seeking for more donations and more people that want to partner with us to give back to the community,” Florea said.

Florea said she wants to not use the word pantry in connection with what her team is doing.

“We really wanted to take the word pantry out of it because we know that people think that when they hear pantry it’s just a box of prepackaged food, and they get what they get, and they can only come every so often,” Florea said.

Thanks to the Fish Pantry for stocking us up on bread and some other yummy food items! Can’t wait to see all of you tomorrow. FISH Hospitality Pantries

Posted by Forward Market on Thursday, January 26, 2023

Florea said the market is open to the public with no limitations or restrictions.

“You don’t have to bring anything to us. You just show up like you would at Kroger or Walmart to shop with the benefit of it being free,” Florea said.

According to the U.S. Consumer Price Index, prices for items like butter and eggs have increased by more than 32% at grocery stores.

Douglas Taylor, a customer at the market, said shopping at Forward Market is allowing him to access new items that he would normally never be able to purchase.

“I got a lot. I got a basket full of stuff, so I’ve never had before,” Taylor said.

The Forward Market is located at 1520 Willoughby Rd, Knoxville, TN 37920 and is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.