SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Community members packed a public meeting hosted by Springfield officials Tuesday evening about the upcoming closure of Kroger on the city’s south side.
Earlier in the day, the city announced that Kroger will donate the property and thousands of dollars to support the food bank and transportation.
Springfield Mayor Warren Copeland said he believes getting control of the property on South Limestone Street is the first of several steps to getting fresh food to the city’s south side once Kroger leaves.
Many people at the meeting applauded Kroger’s promises, while some acknowledged they don’t solve every problem.
“I have a lot of patients that are home-bound that cannot get certain places,” said Valisha Moss, a nurse who lives on the south side. “They rely on their aides to get to and from the stores, which a lot of their aides do not have ample transportation.”
“We as a community deserve better, and the south side of Springfield has been suffering for a long time,” said Dale Henry, former Springfield mayor.
According to city officials, in addition to more than $30,000 to cover transportation to other grocery stores, Kroger is also donating at least $19,500 to the food bank.
“For every dollar that we receive, we can provide five meals with our buying power,” said Tyra Jackson, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank in Springfield.
Second Harvest Food Bank is now preparing to feed as many as 22,000 people who may be affected, Jackson said, ensuring neighborhood food pantries are stocked and hosting several mobile food pantries.
“We are planning on having eight additional mobiles just in the south quadrant of Springfield for the next three months,” she explained. “If we need to go longer, we are able to do that,” she said.
The first mobile food pantry is set for Thursday, March 5 – the day after Kroger closes. It will be held at the Kroger parking lot on South Limestone Street. from 10 a.m. to noon, Jackson said.
Second Harvest Food Bank is in need of monetary donations to cover the anticipated need, Jackson said. To donate, click here.
The food bank is also in need of volunteers, Jackson said. For more information, click here.
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