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Westside Wants Grocer

Chattanooga Organized for Action, the Renaissance Presbyterian Church along with residents in the Westside community marched from their neighborhood to Buehler’s Food Market downtown to show their need for a grocery store and their ability to support one. 

There are more than 3,500 people in the Westside area and many of them live in low-income housing. Many of them are over 50 years of age.

For Barbara Koller and thousands of others in the Westside neighborhood, the journey to buy food can be very hard. “I’m 64-years-old and it is a big deal. I walk with a cane,” says Koller, resident of the Gateway Towers in Westside. “Last time, it cost me five dollars just to get home in a cab.”

The Dollar General on Grove Street closed a few months ago leaving Westside neighbors no choice but to walk. Buehler’s Food Market is the closest grocery store and the walk from Westside is nearly 1.5 miles. The distance is definitely not a hike, but it’s particulary hard for some residents. “There’s a lot of people here in the Westside that are bound to wheelchairs, that are disabled. There’s a lot of people out here that have to rely on public transportation and that have no cars of their own,” says Perrin Lance with Chattanooga Organized for Action. He explains that even if people do take a bus or a cab, it can be a strain on the pockets. Plus, there is always the issue of safety. “It’s cold, it’s far away. Imagine having to carry your months supply of groceries to and back.”

The city says when it comes to private businesses, the city can’t force one to open up in a certain spot. But for residents, getting from Point-A to Point-B takes a side step to another issue, feeling forgotten. “The issue is this. The people on the Westside are the people that have been left behind in Chattanooga.”

This news, Westside Wants Grocer extract from News Channel 9

Short URL: http://www.usnews9.com/?p=4777

Posted by on Dec 20 2010. Filed under World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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