Newark welcomes Key Food to combat 'food desert'

February 19, 2013 3:23:18 PM PST
Newark Mayor Cory Booker cut the ribbon for a new 12,500-square-foot Key Foods supermarket in the city's South Ward on Tuesday.

The end of the ceremony marked the start of something new and desperately needed in the south ward.

"When our people don't have access to quality food, we eat fast food, which contributes to poor health in our neighborhoods," Ras Baraka, Newark City Councilman, said.

The new Key Foods grocery store sits at Springfield Avenue and South 10th Street, an area where no grocery store has been for decades. These are areas that the city calls food deserts. This store is the oasis here.

"I only live down the street. I don't have to go to Shoprite or Pathmark. I'm down the street, so it's convenient," one resident said.

Closeness and convenience. That's big. Miss Lois also had to food shop outside Newark.

"In Irvington, but I can walk here. Everything I want is in this store," she said.

This is the third story in 3 years, keeping money here and creating jobs.

"We saw that our own residents were spending billions at stores and restaurants out of Newark. By spending their money here, we help drive our own economy," Mayor Cory Booker said.

30 of the people hired live in the city. The store stocks items popular with the multi-cultural community it serves.

The push to get true grocery stores in city neighborhoods is on a roll. Each of the city's wards now has at least one grocery store that they and the city are hoping will be supported by the community.

The store opening comes almost a year to the day that the city welcomed the Food Depot Supermarket, which was the first grocery store built in Newark in 20 years.

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