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Food desert Greenville set for new grocery store after 3-year-long delay

Greenville residents upset while awaiting grocery store
Posted at 7:49 PM, Jun 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-30 22:45:41-04

GREENVILLE, Fla. (WTXL) — Greenville neighbors aren't able to buy fresh produce without traveling for miles. But that could soon change. The city predicts a grocery store will be open this fall.

"When are y'all going to have a grocery store here for the community instead of traveling," said Daniel Weaver, Greenville Neighbor.

Living in a food desert. That's what life is like for Daniel Weaver. I checked the map. The closest traditional grocery stores are 15 miles away. Weaver says that's a major inconvenience.

"Old people don't want to travel there and there. They want to be in their own hometown," said Weaver.

In 2020, ABC 27 reported that Greenville received nearly $2 million dollars in federal grants to build a grocery store.
3 years later, it's still not open...adding to Kovacherich Arnold's frustration.
I met him at the area Dollar General.
The only store for many people living here.

"It's a low poverty area. It's been hard for a lot of us to get transportation back and forth," said Arnold.

"We delayed this because this grocery store wouldn't have met the real needs of this community," said Lee Jones, CEO of Greenville.

CEO of Greenville Lee Jones blames the delay on store additions that weren't part of the original plan. That includes a pharmacy and a bank to better meet the needs of the community.

"It's quite an extensive process when you're doing large projects especially for small communities," said Jones.

As that process plays out...Arnold tells me more communication needs to happen if anything else changes.

"If you give us a date this day everybody is expecting it to happen. But when it's not happening and you're not communicating with the community then it becomes a problem," said Arnold.

Jones says the grocery store is 85% completed and will be located on Old Mission Avenue right in the heart of Greenville.