Market Basket helping out low-income families

Market Basket president Arthur T. Demoulas
Market Basket president Arthur T. Demoulas

The grocery chain Market Basket is better known for the soap-opera dysfunction in its family boardroom than serving needy families. But its willingness to build stores in economically disadvantaged places — including, most recently, Chelsea — and its economy pricing help make food affordable for families on tight budgets.

Thus, it was only a modest surprise when company president Arthur T. Demoulas — last seen fending off a takeover by bitter relatives — announced Market Basket’s latest push: For the next 11 months, the chain is giving an additional discount of 4 percent on almost all groceries. In ads, Market Basket boasts, “It’s Like Getting Two Weeks of Groceries for FREE.”

That would amount to $400 of savings for a family of four. At a time when many grocery chains are boosting margins with prepared foods and higher-priced organic brands, Market Basket’s concern for the average family is striking. In an interview with the Lowell Sun, Demoulas crowed, “Our goal is to make customers feel better when they leave one of our stores than when they came in.” Now, if only his relatives would feel that way. . .