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The Voice of the Black Community

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Sav-A-Lotís closure major blow for SE Raleigh
 
Published Tuesday, March 5, 2019
by Lori D.R. Wiggins, Correspondent

RALEIGH – It’s 6 p.m., the after-work hour folks routinely stop by their neighborhood grocery to grab something for dinner or its finishing touch. But the doors are already locked at the Sav-A-Lot on Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Car after car of shoppers pulled up. Each was turned away hours before the store’s usual 9 p.m. closing by still doors and two 8-1/2 x11 signs. One had new hours; the other: “Our Final Day is Saturday.”

That’s the day the store will close for good.

“It’s horrible,” said Roselyn Randall, ready to shop for her children’s favorite meatballs and hotdogs on a stick. “We have really depended on this store since it opened.

“It’s more affordable,” she said, comparing it to other grocery stores and Walmart. “It has been such a great help.”

It’s also a familiar story in Southeast Raleigh, already classified by the USDA as a food desert because it is home to low-income residents who don’t have access to affordable food within a mile of where they live.

Sav-A-Lot was considered a saving grace when it opened four years ago in one of the two SE Raleigh Kroger grocery store locations that closed in 2012. The remaining 14 Kroger stores in Raleigh closed last year.

It is unclear why Sav-A-Lot is closing.

“It's no good,” said Oralia Rodriguez, returning to her car after finding the doors locked. “For me, it was convenient and close to my home; and it has good prices.”

Local efforts underway aim to address the area’s food desert status by providing fresh, healthy produce through community gardening, community and mobile farmers’ markets, and the development of a food cooperative.

Meanwhile, Tracy Johnson laments losing Sav-A-Lot – again. The first was in Henderson before she moved to Raleigh.

“I was so excited, ‘There’s another Sav-A-Lot here,” she said, applauding their prices. “It’s sad as hard as times are for all of us.

“I hate it’s closing.”

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