No grocery store for a generation? Shame on Albertsons!
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Albertsons served the Birchwood neighborhood of Bellingham, WA for 35 years, but closed with little notice 3 years ago. Most people assumed another grocery store would move in, but Albertsons left a series of non-compete clauses in it's wake that prohibit a new grocer from moving into not just it's former space, but anywhere in the whole Park Manor shopping center where it used to be located. These restrictions are in place for 20+ years- that's a whole generation! The neighborhood has grown up around the store, with lots of high density housing next to and within walking distance. Birchwood is one of the most diverse and lowest income neighborhoods in the city. Elders, disabled people, families and people without cars have really struggled with the closure. Many people are eating less or going without food due to the difficulty in getting to a grocery store.
The lack of access to fresh produce and regular groceries is unacceptable. It's a public health issue, an equity issue, and an affront to our basic rights. The community should have the right to meet it's needs, without corporate interference.
We demand that Albertsons remove ALL grocery noncompete clauses affecting the Park Manor Shopping Center, including but not limited to releasing the new owners of the Albertsons building from upholding any non-compete language from the deed and the CC&R's . In the meantime, if you have the option to choose where you do your grocery shopping, we ask that you boycott all grocers owned by Albertsons (including Haggens, Safeway, etc).
For more information, visit the Birchwood Food Desert Fighters FaceBook page, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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