Rebuild Village Plaza
This petition had 42 supporters
On May 2, 2018 at 7:16pm, Village Plaza, located at 1022 Greenfield Street in Wilmington, North Carolina burned down. What remains is a dirt lot. Everybody's IGA supermarket, Spiro's Breakfast and Lunch House, Quails Quality Cuts barber shop, and City Life Church all disappeared. Residents in the neighborhoods of Houston Moore, Village of Greenfield, Lake Forest, Garden Lakes, Jervay, Hillcrest, and Glover Plaza are no longer able to purchase fresh food and prepared meals in their neighborhoods, as they had relied on these businesses that were located a reasonable distance from their homes. Residents of these neighborhoods are having to walk 1.5 miles to the nearest grocery store, Food Lion on Oleander Dr., in order to purchase produce, meats, or other prepared foods and meals. The residents of the neighborhoods of Creekwood North, Creekwood South,and Rankin Terrace have to walk over 3 miles to the nearest grocery store, which is also a Food Lion, on Market St. Many residents are having to rely on assistance payments to get by in addition to holding jobs to feed their families, so money is scarce with regards to transportation. The local Social Services Agency cannot provide transportation vouchers to get food. All of these neighborhoods are food deserts, and they are all in neighborhoods that do not have economic development.
The United States Department of Agriculture defines a food desert: "To qualify as a “low-access community,” at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of the census tract's population must reside more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store," per the website americannutritionassociation.org. The convenience stores and Family Dollar stores nearby are not carrying fresh meats, produce, and other nutritious foods that the residents need. Many residents who cannot afford bus transportation or other means of getting rides to the nearest supermarket are walking, often in boiling hot sun or freezing temperatures, in the rain, or in dangerous evening conditions with children having to walk alongside them in order to purchase groceries and meals. Returning home after having walked the same distance but now carrying heavy grocery bags, and many times with an exhausted toddler or two struggling to keep up, is too much to bear for these residents. The only other source of assistance for fresh produce are the food pantries located around town, or the Local Motive Mobile Farmer's Market, run by Feast Down East, that can only operate during Wilmington Housing Authority hours of 8:30-4:30 Monday thru Friday. The mobile farmer's market stops at each neighborhood once per week for a two hour period to sell produce from local farms, such as eggs, strawberries, collard greens, etc. This farmer's market is doing its best to provide produce but it is not able to provide the same service that a regular grocery store can provide for residents in these areas.
Cameron Management Company (Cameronco.com) purchased the land at Village Plaza November 2018, but has yet to make public its intent on rebuilding the much needed grocery store and restaurant. Messages were left on Cameron Co.'s owner's voicemail on April 24 and May 8th asking the status of the rebuild of Village Plaza, but none of the messages were returned. The "contact us" form was filled out on April 25 on Cameron's website and submitted asking for the status of the rebuild, but no answer was received. WECT News broadcast a story on April 23 in regards to Village Plaza as well and also contacted Cameron Management for a comment with no response per their news website. This petition is to ask Cameron Management Company and The City of Wilmington to work together to rebuild grocery stores in these food deserts that will sell fresh food and prepared meals. These neighborhood residents deserve the dignity and convenience of being able to purchase fresh food and meals to feed their families. The photos shown are of what remains today of Village Plaza, a family who are expecting a baby purchasing from the mobile Farmer's Market, the Farmer's Market setting up at Houston Moore, a resident of Greenfield Village who needs the grocery store to buy her great granddaughter nutritious food, and two homeless men (the one on the left is a veteran who has lost his leg) who have to travel from the homeless shelter in the Village of Greenfield area to Food Lion to buy food. Please sign this petition to help us get the message across to The City of Wilmington and Cameron Management to get grocery stores in neighborhoods that need economic development. Thank you.
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