I lived in Berkeley for about year in 2005. I got to know parts of Oakland through friends that lived there and events and activities going on around the East Bay. The poverty of West Oakland is real and yet can seem distant and far off when you're being whisked through it on a BART train.
The People's Grocery is in that part of West Oakland where dozens of liquor stores are always two blocks away, multiple fast-food joints are around the corner but the closest grocery store, selling fresh food and vegetables, is a 15 minute drive. The community is depressed. The folks are struggling. The People's Grocery is changing all that.