by Sam Hieb
The Renaissance Community Cooperative—which received generous help from local government and nonprofit groups to help to alleviate the ‘food desert’ that is supposedly northeast Greensboro—announced it will close on January 25th:
The city spent a decade trying to lure a grocer to that area, which had been without one since 1998, before the community came up with the co-op idea.
Roodline Volcy, the president of the co-op’s board of directors, said the decision to close the store is heartbreaking.
“It was a huge accomplishment and all of the organizing in order for the RCC to even exist,” Volcy said. “It’s a huge accomplishment that the community should be very proud of.”
Getting a grocer with fresh foods marked a big change for the area, which is among more than a dozen places in Greensboro determined to be a food desert, an area lacking access to healthful foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines a food desert as an area where at least 33 percent of the population lives at least a mile from a supermarket and more than 20 percent live below the poverty level.
As someone noted on the Greater Greensboro Politics Facebook page—“Earth to everyone— super Walmart is next exit down from phillips Avenue if you want to know where the neighborhood was shopping at.”