Mayor Lenny Curry, residents hope for a brand new grocery retailer within the meals wasteland of northwest Jacksonville
Northwest Jacksonville residents have very limited access to major grocery stores, but Mayor Lenny Curry hopes to change that.
Many residents of northwest Jacksonville commute several miles just to buy groceries, but that could soon change, according to Lenny Curry, Mayor of Jacksonville.
He’s hoping to get a $ 750,000 grant to turn a vacant Harvey’s into a Rowe’s supermarket.
“It would mean anything to us to have a big grocery store,” Terry Canty Nesmith, a local resident, told First Coast News.
In northwest Jacksonville, there are no large neighborhood grocery stores.
“The largest city in the United States and we live in a food desert in the [northwest] Side of town, “said the resident Canty Nesmith,” and it’s a strange thing because we travel to other areas outside of this community every day to work and there you have to shop. “
Nikki Kimbleton, a mayor’s office spokeswoman, told First Coast News, “Mayor Curry has been working for several years to ensure that all citizens and neighborhoods have access to healthier foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. This grant is the next step in finding a solution to the food wasteland of northwest Jacksonville, and we look forward to the full support of the City Council of [Tuesday night’s] To meet.”
Food deserts not only make it difficult for residents to purchase groceries, but they also make it more difficult to obtain healthy, high-quality food options.
“The quality of the food on this side of town, not just the amount or availability of fruits, vegetables, fresh meat – it’s not here in this quadrant,” Nesmith said.
The nearest large supermarkets or pharmacies are in Riverside, Downtown or Northside. Nesmith is a 20 minute drive to their nearest major grocery store.
“It’s very difficult to live in my own church when I can’t make healthy choices,” she said.
The lack of grocery stores in the area can turn simply shopping for groceries into a two-hour trip, depending on how far residents have to go and what type of transportation they rely on.
The city council meeting to approve the grant will take place on Tuesday evening. If approved, it will mean northwest Jacksonville residents can have what many take for granted – easy, one-stop shopping for all of their basic needs.