A New Plan For Attracting Grocery Stores To East Cleveland 

East Cleveland residents gathered to discuss plans for bringing healthy food to their neighborhood.
East Cleveland residents gathered to discuss plans for bringing healthy food to their neighborhood. [ideastream / Lecia Bushak]
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Advocates for a grocery store initiative in East Cleveland gathered at a forum this Monday to discuss goals for bringing healthy food to the neighborhood.

The Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope (NOAH), a community organizing group, announced at the forum that they’re working with Cuyahoga County Council to develop a framework to attract grocery stores to low-income neighborhoods. They say it should be ready within a year.

The focus on a countywide approach would allow East Cleveland, and other disadvantaged neighborhoods that struggle to find city funds, to have support to open grocery stores, says Cuyahoga County Board of Health’s Roger Sikes.

"NOAH is looking for a county-level funding mechanism that would provide public funding support for high-quality grocery stores in working-class neighborhoods across the county," Sikes said. "And two, that residents who live in the neighborhood would have a say in the process."

NOAH Executive Director Trevelle Harp emphasized that the plan would focus on the needs of the community and include black ownership.

"We want the community to be involved," Harp said. "We also want [the grocery store] to be high quality. We want the community to be able to establish what those metrics are, of what a high quality grocery store should be."

Over the last couple of years, several grocery stores have received public sector support to open up in low-income areas, including Simon's supermarket in Buckeye, Eastside market in Glenville, and Dave's in Midtown.

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