CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Residents and city council candidates say this neighborhood Walmart closing will not only leave an eye sore but force the community to be drastically underserved with grocery options.
“Well I think it’s a shame to be honest with you” said Roderick Grier who lives in Eastwood Manor right up the road from the Walmart Neighborhood Market that’s set to close March 26th.
The closest grocery store in a five mile radius.
“It’s hard enough for a senior citizen such as myself to get over there” said Grier. “To go even further is a hinderance to be honest with you.”
“There’s not a lot of options outside of that Walmart is there” asked News 12’s Winston Reed.
“No it’s not” said Grier.
The grocery store resides in district 5, which is still up for grabs by runoff candidates Dennis Clark and Isiah Hester.
“We can’t have another food desert here” said Hester.
“We have to find a plan and a way that people in my district can have access to food” said Clark.
Clark’s District 5 Economic Development Plan examines ways to attract and keep grocery stores and other small businesses in the district while offering senior citizens transportation resources.
“We can actively recruit with the chamber of commerce” said Clark. “Throughout my whole entire term I’m sure we’ll be working to make sure that we’re recruiting grocery stores.”
Hester’s Blue Ribbon plan consists of a committee analyzing the trends of local businesses and grocery chains.
Specifically businesses that are regressing.
“If they are going to go down we’re going to have a town hall meeting where everybody will be informed” said Hester. “Nobody will be left in the dark.”
“People help me because I’m homeless” said Gregory Williams who is part of yet another demographic that will be impacted by the Shallowford Walmart’s closing.
He’s survives on the compassionate offerings from people shopping.
Williams references a conversation we had prior to speaking on camera.
“I asked you if you would buy me some chicken and you said ‘yeah’ and if the Walmart is not here then you can’t ask anybody to buy you anything.”
Walmart leaders say the store closing on March 26 is an “internal decision”.