Woodville Road Save-a-Lot closed two months ago. It was the only fresh produce shop far and wide.
TOLEDO, Ohio – Woodville Road Save-a-Lot in east Toledo closed its doors for the last time two months ago.
Save-a-Lot was the last store in the area selling fresh produce.
The lack of access to fresh produce has created what is known as a food desert.
“[There’s] no fresh food, no fresh vegetables or anything like that in this neighborhood, “said Alfonso Narvaez, a community activist trying to raise awareness of the issue.
This lack of food resources is currently putting a heavy strain on local residents.
The change is paralyzing, especially for non-drivers.
Chris Eames is one of those locals who don’t have access to a car, and he says sourcing groceries has now become an incredible challenge for him and his family.
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“It’s changed my life a lot. I mean, now I have to walk all the way to the Toledo Food Center. It’s like this place is the best place,” Eames said.
Eames’ walk is a sixteen-minute one-way hike just to get food for his family.
And it’s not just the loss of a place to get fresh feed, the grocery store shutdown has other serious implications for the larger community.
“Jobs are being lost, economic development is being lost, and the neighborhood is just lacking pride,” said Narvaez.
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With no quick fix in sight, it is a frustrating time for the neighbors in the area.
They say that having important business like grocery stores to go means there is still a lot to be done.
Another Woodville Road resident Anthony Kaczmarek said the root cause of the problem is that businesses don’t want to stay in the area.
“Revitalize the area. It needs rebuilding … it needs some incentive to bring businesses back here,” said Kaczmarek.
Currently, the Toledo Food Market on Main Street and Kroger and Meijer in Oregon are the closest stores selling fresh produce.