Cub Foods just announced the closure of its store at 4716 Verona Road, all part of corporate downsizing in response to the current recession.
Normally, I admit that this sort of announcement wouldn't necessarily catch my attention. I used to give rides to residents in that area when I drove for Women's Transit Authority, though, and I remember that a lot of the people that relied on the store also didn't own cars. I saw many women walking their grocery carts across busy Verona road to get from their homes over in the Allied Drive neighborhood to Cub. We also provided rides for people who needed to make a trip to the grocery store and couldn't walk it.
The loss of that store leaves a pretty big hole in the food landscape for those people who live in the area. It will be especially hard, I imagine, for those still without easy access to transportation.
I'm not placing all of the blame on the decision-makers at Cub Foods. They're a business and have to make choices that will help keep the business afloat in difficult economic times. But I can't help but wonder what will happen with the people that relied on the Verona Road store for their groceries? Will they be able to get to the more outlying stores? Will a new grocery go in where Cub once was?
And while I recognize that it's usually just a simple, hard matter of following the money, it's difficult to see something like this happen when we have other, more affluent neighborhoods that enjoy two or even three grocery stores within a small area.
It's something well worth thinking about as a city when we talk about how best to serve all of our citizens.