Supermarket closures will expand food deserts
Supermarket chain Giant Eagle announced that they will be closing two Cleveland stores within the next two months. Area residents and local officials were surprised by the news, since the stores are cornerstones in their respective neighborhoods, providing healthy food access, banking and pharmacy services along with 120 local jobs. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson wrote a letter asking Giant Eagle why the stores will be closed, and he, along with patrons and local community organizations await their response. Cleveland City Council passed a resolution on January 11th, urging the store chain to keep these two stores open. Cleveland residents showed their discontent for the west side store’s closure this past Saturday, with a protest supported by Cleveland City Councilmembers Brian Kazy and Zack Reid and Cuyahoga Council representative Dale Miller.
HIP-Cuyahoga has worked for years to raise awareness about how healthy food access is not equally distributed across Cuyahoga County. Half of the people in Cleveland live farther than a half mile from a grocery store. Additionally, more than 60% of Cleveland residents living in a food desert are people of color. The closure of the two Giant Eagle Supermarkets will only make the situation worse for these two urban core neighborhoods.
The Buckeye-Shaker SquareDevelopment Corporation is costing a community forum at their location – 11802 Buckeye Rd. in Cleveland on the subject of the closure of the two stores on Thursday, January 19th, 2017 at 5:30-7:00 pm.