Food deserts becoming an issue in Jacksonville area

Food deserts becoming an issue in Jacksonville area

More areas are becoming food deserts in a Jacksonville community as grocery stores continue to close its doors.

Jacksonville city council members came up with a multimillion dollar plan that would bring more supermarkets to the Northwest area.

Store closing signs are taped to each window outside the Harvey’s Supermarket on Dunn Avenue.

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“When they said the stores are closed, I’m like what, really oh my gosh,” shopper, Katrina Miller.

This is one of two locations in the Northwest area, shutting its doors and creating a food desert.

“We’re really going to need this store,” shopper, Michael Jones said.

People who live within walking distance of the supermarket said it’s the only place they come to get their groceries.

“It’s real inconvenient. Now I have to go to Dollar General. A lot of people shop here,” Jones said.

Action News Jax reported in March that the closure of four local stores by Southern Grocers will leave thousands of people with limited access to affordable nutritious food.

“We need a store out this way, a grocery store. I hope another one comes,” shopper, Harold Best said.

City Councilman Reggie Brown said he is aware of this issue.

“I believe that we have an obligation to the tax payers to create incentives that will attract folks to come to this area,” Brown said.

That incentive would be money.

“Well 25% that could mean as much as a $500,000 grant,” Brown said.

The goal is to use $3 million from the Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Trust Fund to attract grocery stores to the area.

“I would like that another Publix to come down this way, so that would be nice,” shopper, Mary Wyatt said.

Brown said city council still has to vote on this plan.

However, Rowe’s IGA Supermarket is already interested in coming to the Northwest area.