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Giant Eagle Closings Spark Food Desert Concerns

[hurricanehank / Shutterstock]
Picture of citrus at a grocery

Residents in the Jefferson neighborhood will rally on Saturday to protest the closure of the Giant Eagle grocery.  Although the store’s last day will be March 4, its pharmacy will shut down on Saturday.

Across town, Cleveland council members Kenneth Johnson and Mamie J. Mitchell have scheduled a community meeting for next Thursday night about the store closing in Buckeye Plaza. That store’s pharmacy shuts its doors after Saturday. But grocery and other sales will continue until Feb. 4. The nearby GetGo gas station will also go dark.

Without the stores, observers say the neighborhoods risk becoming food deserts where residents can’t get fresh fruits, vegetables or meat.

“These two Giant Eagle grocery stores created an oasis of food accesses within areas ….where there is very little access to other healthy food retailers,” said Darcy Freedman. She is an associate professor at the Case Western medical school.

A statement from Giant Eagle did not say why the stores were being shut down. But the company said it's working to transfer about 120 employees to other locations.