Albany’s South End gets date for grocery store opening

Some good news in store for residents that live in the South End neighborhood in Albany. The area has long been a food desert, but soon that will change with the opening of a grocery store.

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The new grocery store will be at 106 South Pearl Street, where a McDonalds was formerly located. It was purchased last December, and although the grocery store won’t be ready until this December, Executive Director of AVillage Inc. says they chose to announce the details of the grand opening ahead of time to uplift and remind people good things are coming soon.

“AVillage Inc. is here to stand against the misallocation of resources, the disenfranchisement of our community and we’re gonna uplift the direct needs of our community members,” said Eva Bass.

Board President of AVillage Inc, Tabetha Wilson, says the McDonald’s closing was part of a trend of resources leaving the area.

“That’s leaving folks stranded without the resources they need including pharmacies and obviously a grocery store, said Wilson. “We’ve been long desirous of an investment of a grocery store here trying to basically demonstrate, A, there’s a need, and the lack of nutritious foods has a very desperate impact in our community,” she said.

The official opening date is December 26–the same week of the holiday Kwanzaa, which honors African Heritage in African American Culture. The opening will be a week-long celebration filled with activities that mirror the seven principles of the holiday.

Travon Jackson, President and Managing Director of BlueLight Development Group, said they’re excited.

“We’re very happy to start the holiday season, particularly with the holidays that we celebrate with the grocery store, and it’s our hope that families can bond at the store being available at that much needed time,” said Jackson.

The new grocery store has been a joint effort and partnership between so many different community organizations, and with the help of local farms, people in at-risk populations will have easier access to healthy and affordable food.