Progressive Grocer: Family-Owned Grocer in Indiana Redefines Innovation

May 26, 2021

If you think that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, well, then, you don’t live in Mount Vernon, Ind.

This beautiful town of 7,000 residents sits right on the Ohio River between Louisville, Ky., and St. Louis, Mo. That’s where McKim’s IGA is located, a family-owned hometown grocer that has proved there is in fact such a thing as a free lunch.

Last year, when schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of children in that community were going without the free meals that they would have normally received in their schools. So McKim’s IGA, a 10,000-square-foot store operated by the McKim family at 1320 Main Street in Mount Vernon, began handing out free lunches until school went back into session. At one point, the store was distributing around 50 free lunches each day to students ranging in age from 8 to 18.

Naturally, the free kids’ meals at McKim’s were a huge hit in the local community; customers even started making donations to help the grocery store fund the meals. The program was a shining example of retail innovation at a time of great national crisis.

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