Lewis W. Diuguid

Food desert in Kansas City like shifting sands in economic storm

Updated: 2014-02-19T00:32:39Z

By Lewis W. Diuguid

The Kansas City Star

Food deserts in Kansas City shift like sands in a wind storm. In this case, though, the storm is economic, and it’s another lasting effect of the Great Recession.

A couple of weeks ago, an Aldi grocery store opened at 39th Street and Prospect Avenue in the black community. On Tuesday, Mi Mercado, or my market in Spanish, is closing at 3719 Independence Ave., The Kansas City Star reports.

It serves a largely Latino community in the Northeast area. The store had been an Apple Mart.

Cosentinos Food Stores had closed it for a month last summer and reopened it in August as Mi Mercado to better serve the Latino community with fresh meets, deli offerings and fresh fruits. Cosentinos cited disappointing sales over the last six months as the reason for the Mi Mercado closing.

Workers who had been told of the closing before it was announced in the press were stunned. Many of Mi Mercado's 85 employees will transfer to jobs at the company's other 27 area stores.

Northeast area residents will have to shop at other grocery stores — one about a mile to the east on Independence Avenue and the other about a mile to the west. For people without a car and who had walked to Mi Mercado, getting groceries will be an added hardship in the low-income community.

To reach Lewis W. Diuguid, call 816-234-4723 or send email to ldiuguid@kcstar.com.

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