SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Oak Park residents said they are worried the closure of a nearby grocery store could turn their community into a food desert once again.
A Food Source on Broadway, which is owned by Raley’s, is set to close March 31.
“What we have besides this is Save Mart, which is almost 2 miles away, Safeway over there on Alhambra. But other than that, it’s like the little stop and shop kind of corner marts,” said Jeff Broaddus, who was shopping at Food Source on Thursday. “So that is already problematic. I mean, the availability of fresh produce at those is almost non-existent.”
“What’s happening is a turning back of the clock,” said Malaki Amen, CEO of the California Urban Partnership.
A turning back, according to Amen, to a critical time when part of Oak Park was a food desert, which is an area without affordable, fresh items to eat.
It’s why the California Urban Partnership is urging those who live in the area to respond to the city’s survey, calling for feedback about the Food Source closure.
Two grocers have already shown interest in the spot and Sacramento City Councilman Jay Schenirer is working to help families through the time it takes to find a permanent tenant, like putting a farmers market in the parking lot.
“We’re going to work with regional transit to see if they can run some shuttles from the neighborhood to other stores, things like that,” Councilman Schenirer said.
And food is not the only concern.
“The bank is in there for my credit union,” said resident Clarence Bolton. “I’m going to have to travel further to get money out.”
As it rolls out its inclusive economic development plan, Amen said he just hopes the city also looks to the local community as a source for filling the needs in the neighborhood.
“There are a number of food-related entrepreneurs in our city who could benefit from the city supporting them in building their capacity to build a competitive business that contributes to the city’s tax base,” Amen said.