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San Francisco has opened a free food market where shoppers can leave without paying for groceries legally.

The store, called the Food Empowerment Market, is the first in the city specifically for the homeless.

The store opened Wednesday in the city’s Bayview neighborhood. The store’s hours of business will soon expand to twice a week.

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The program is targeted at food stamp recipients who live in District 10. It will cost taxpayers $5.5 million.

“If you’re having food insecurity, there’s a high likelihood that you’re having other social problems, and we want to make sure that you’re receiving all social benefits,” said Geoffrea Morris, who helped pass the legislation.

Morris told SFGATE that the market’s purpose is to allow low-income families and older adults to keep food on the table.

Qualified shoppers must receive city services, such as CalFresh, Medi-Cal or CalWORKs; and have a child in the home under the age of 25.

Shoppers are given cards which are used at check-out to keep track of inventory.

The free market is in conjunction with the “Managed Alcohol Program” (MAP), which provides safe amounts of alcohol to homeless people with alcohol addiction.

The goal is to keep them off the streets and reduce the burden on emergency health services.

“It’s really conflicting to give alcohol to alcoholics because it’s a disease,” a resident said. “It’s a disease that they can’t help. You’re enabling, and the possibility is for them to die, or end up in an institution.”