AUGUSTA, Ga. – Those who go grocery shopping in south Augusta will have two fewer options in the near future.
Food Lion at 4104 Windsor Spring Road and the Kroger on Deans Bridge Road are closing their doors. Kroger shopper, Terry Mousel says, “There’s going to be a lot less options because like I said, Walmart’s taking over the majority of everything and they’re just forcing all these other stores out. It’s like when Piggly Wiggly closed and Winn Dixie closed. Now all these are going and Walmarts popping up on every corner.”
Kim Hines of the G.R.O.W. Harrisburg group which tries to bring fresh produce to areas that don’t have access to healthy foods, says this could be the beginning of a food desert appearing in south Augusta. “A food desert is a lack of access to fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy foods. So it’s a dependency on a community on convenience store foods and processed foods, or in some cases no food at all,” says Hines. With two grocery stores closing in one area, south Augusta could be following a state-wide trend.
Kim Hines says, “It’s already a concern for a lot of people especially in rural Georgia who don’t have access to healthy foods on a regular basis. So this is just part of a trend.”
The closing of these stores could be more than an inconvenience to local shoppers. Stephanie Gainey, another Kroger shopper says, “My cousin, I brought her to the store and she lives right across the street over there and she doesn’t have any transportation. This is the closest store to her.”
“It’s going to be a shame when this place closes, a lot of people are going to lose out because all that’s going to be up the road is Walmart,” says Terry Mousel.
Kroger and Food Lion have several other locations in the Augusta area but those could take up to ten minutes driving from the closed locations.