Local News

Southeast Raleigh residents brainstorm to fill Kroger's void

Posted December 10, 2012
Updated December 11, 2012

Residents and City of Raleigh officials are examining food access problems in southeast Raleigh before the closing of two Kroger stores next month.

More than 100 people attended a community meeting Monday evening at Martin Street Baptist Church to express their disappointment in Kroger's decision to close and to start looking for solutions. 

The Ohio-based company announced that it would close its stores on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and New Bern Avenue in mid-January because they had ceased being profitable.

City leaders and residents, however, say the closings will greatly affect the community's ease of access to fresh produce and healthy food, especially for people on fixed incomes and with limited transportation.

"I think everyone is speaking very passionately about how they feel about Kroger leaving one way of another, but the fact remains this is a food desert," said Cathey Ector. "We really, really need to have a viable grocery store in order to meet the needs of citizens in this area."

Southeast Raleigh is recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a "food desert," an urban low-income area where the poverty rate is at least 20 percent and at least 33 percent of residents have low access to a supermarket or large grocery store.

Southeast Raleigh residents brainstorm filling Kroger's void Southeast Raleigh residents brainstorm filling Kroger's void

Residents at Monday's meeting said they hope to fill the void left by Kroger.

"I don't think we need to rely solely on government to do it," Ector said. "I think it's a whole collaboration of residents, organizations, nonprofits that can help replace the Kroger."

In addition to groceries, both Kroger stores have pharmacies inside. The one on Martin Luther King Boulevard also has a bank, and behind it are two assisted living facilities.

Community organizer Corey Branch says the closings will impact those residents most.

"They're saying, 'I'm losing a pharmacy. I'm losing what's close to my house,'" he said. "So they have to transfer all of their prescriptions to a different pharmacy, which also impacts their budget from maybe having to catch a cab or bus." 

No Kroger representatives attended the meeting.

Map

A map of major grocery stores in Raleigh and southeast Raleigh (shaded region). Stores include Kroger, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Walmart Supercenter, Target, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Trader Joe's and Lowes Foods.


View Raleigh Grocery Stores in a larger map

240 Comments

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  • rjrumfelt Dec 12, 3:05 p.m.

    This artcle really frustrates me. It isn't Kroger's responsibility to provide goods and services to the area. If Kroger moves out, then someone from the local community should see that as an opportunity for a small business. They could open up a neighborhood grocery store.

    It boggles my mind that people think a company should be coerced to operate at a loss. Look at the Post Office and see how well they are doing, having to operate at a loss.

  • CaryMacGuy Dec 12, 2:20 p.m.

    I think the government needs to have the authority to tell a grocery store that they need to remain open when it closing can negatively impact community citizens. If we as tax payers need to subsidize, then so be it.

  • superman Dec 12, 9:30 a.m.

    More than 100 people attended a community meeting Monday evening at Martin Street Baptist Church to express their disappointment in Kroger's decision to close and to start looking for solutions.

    That church must not have a minister and no members. A minister should call all the churches in the surrounding neighborhood and work out a plan among the churches to provide weekly transportion for these people. It isnt Kroger's responsiblity nor the city. Has the church helping people vanished?

  • superman Dec 12, 9:15 a.m.

    Yep, cause you only have to go to the grocery store once every 4 years. Brilliant thinking there. I hope they will not be using you in the think tank. GravyPig

    You are like the churches my comment just flew right over your head. They can get them to vote but when it comes to providing some real help they not available. Helping a person who is in real need only one time is not any real help. Why dont the churches realize they can help and do something. They have vans and buses that they use to pick people up and take them to church and vote.

  • farm Dec 12, 9:10 a.m.

    "How did we fall all over these people as you say? Are you referring to allowing them to vote...Such a horrible thing. Allowing Americans to vote."

    You will help them vote but not eat?

  • superman Dec 12, 9:09 a.m.

    I read several months ago that there is a church near Charlotte that helps the poor, senior citizens etc. If we had churches in Raleigh and Wake County that had compassion and feelings they could reach out and help those people. But in the absence of any well meaning pastors and churches they are having to look to Kroger or other stores for their help. It is a sad day that churches no longer feel a need to help people.

  • btneast Dec 12, 8:44 a.m.

    The lease was not going to be renewed. The property owner has a different plan than what is currently there. Kroger has been slowly exiting NC for some time now anyway. Don't be surpised if Kroger gets an offer they can't refuse from a larger grocery chain looking to move into this area.

  • btneast Dec 12, 8:41 a.m.

    Yep, cause you only have to go to the grocery store once every 4 years. Brilliant thinking there

    That wasn't the point......the point was someone only cared about their vote, not there true well being....

  • Bill Brasky Dec 12, 8:28 a.m.

    "Its a valid point, you fell all over these folks when you needed them to vote but now when they need a ride you can't be bothered with them."

    How did we fall all over these people as you say? Are you referring to allowing them to vote...Such a horrible thing. Allowing Americans to vote.

  • storchheim Dec 11, 7:40 p.m.

    "They can get to the grocery store the same way they got to the polls to vote." superman

    "Agreed. Where are all those free rides now?" welf=trap

    Which candidate was it who "wasn't going to be bothered with the 47%"?

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