"We're not collecting demographics," Nilan said. "We're trying to be sensitive about those who are participating. We don't want to draw attention and we want to make this as anonymous as possible."
On the heels of this program, the co-op offers a popular food cooking program that shows people how to stretch their dollars, while providing nutritious food for their families. "When money becomes an issue and then feeding your family becomes an issue. People today also don't have grandma's cooking skills," Nilan said.
This isn't the first social-service program City Market has either supported or implemented. The store also lends a hand to COTS and the Chittenden Food Shelf. While the mission to help the marginalized form the co-op's backbone, it also has to maintain economic viability so it can continue to help others, Nilan said.
"We need to make sure that we're doing our business stuff well," said Nilan. "We know that costs are going up and it's tough for people to purchase food. But we're paying attention."