Mini-Max grocery store owner Bill Johnson has long aimed to fuse his businesses with his burgeoning nonprofit, Genesis 12:2, he said.
"I established a new retail company and a nonprofit, and the nonprofit has been laying dormant, but the goal has always been to bring them together," Johnson said. "It’s evolved to the point where the business side has established itself and we are looking forward to a future of more stores and more activity. I am now activating the nonprofit side of it — Genesis 12:2."
Genesis 12:2 aims to help people on benefits save money by stretching their assistance further, rather than risk benefit reduction by way of direct donations or payments, Johnson said. One example of that is a collaboration between Genesis 12:2 and fellow nonprofit Feed the Children taking place Saturday at Mini-Max's Shawnee Bypass location.
"We've probably bought $65,000 or $75,000 worth of Feed the Children's food boxes. I made a donation to my nonprofit, and they purchased the product from Feed the Children," Johnson said. "Feed the Children will be delivering the product Saturday. We’re going to give that out to people who have food stamps. We’ll have people come through a drive-thru in the parking lot."
The event will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Each box contains roughly $300 worth of goods, including 25 pounds of food, Johnson said. Four hundred boxes will be available.
Johnson said the event represented the culmination of his plan to bring business and charity together.
"I’ve never operated a nonprofit before. But what I’m doing is taking proceeds from store and funneling them into Genesis 12:2," Johnson said. "I’ve developed a business to advance the goals of the nonprofit."
Those goals don't stop at simply feeding people, either, Johnson said.
"The overall plan was to develop this and take it to the communities and get beyond food, like starting home projects after this," Johnson said. "My attempt and hope is to work with other nonprofits to provide savings for people on benefit programs, and to extend their buying power where they can save money on what they are spending. Through savings, they don’t get a reduction in benefits; it’s all gain for them to save money."
Johnson said many kinds of assistance were geared toward generating profit for the assistants, rather than value for the poor.
"My concern is that there’s too big a gap in incomes, and there’s too many people trapped," Johnson said. "The system has become in some ways a method for people to get rich off of helping the poor."
From here, he hopes to generate attention for Genesis 12:2's goals to help them combat that process, Johnson said.
"I’ve done what I know to do. I am now opening up the nonprofit, and hopefully we’ll get some awareness about it," Johnson said.
If you go
WHAT: Feed the Children food giveaway, courtesy of Genesis 12:2.
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE: Mini-Max, 2408 E. Shawnee Bypass.
ETC.: Recipients must receive food stamps in order to claim giveaway items.