Neighbors say grocery store in Franklinton is long overdue

Franklinton neighbors haven't had had a store where they could buy groceries or produce in a long time.

FRANKLINTON, OH (WCMH) — A recently announced $150,000 from The Westside Community Fund will go towards a new grocery store on West Broad Street in Franklinton. Neighbors can buy fruits and vegetables, along with premade meals.

The neighborhood of Franklinton hasn’t had a store where they could buy groceries or produce in a long time. Neighbors say they’re very excited and it’s been a long time coming.

Elizabeth Koon has lived in Franklinton for 10 years and believes this is going to help the community tremendously.

“It’s going to help the community a lot,” she said. “They won’t be having to try to find ways to get to the store.”

Michael Murphy has lived in Franklinton for the past 30 years. He said this is a great thing that Lower Lights Christian Health Center is operating.

“It’s a great thing for this community,” he said. “I’ve lived down here for 15 years and I know people sorely need a good place to buy food.”

It may just seem like a another grocery store to some in other areas. But for neighbors like Rita Hudson, who’s a Franklinton native, this is life-changing. She says it takes her a lot of time to have to travel such a far distance to find groceries.

“We have no grocery stores,” she said. “It’s very hard for old people and people that are sick to get out to get groceries, especially in blizzards,” she said. “We need it so desperately down here, you know. . . . I’ve got families and everything in the community and we desperately need this store. It’s so hard on me, you know, and I have multiple health problems. I throw my bags in my wheelchair and I push them home and I got grandchildren and they keep me busy going back and forth to the store.”

Rita says as kids, she and her sister always talked about how the area needed a grocery store,

“This is a dream that me and my sister wanted a long time ago and now it’s coming true,” she said. “My sister is gone but I’m here and I’m happy. I’m so happy and I thank the people that are doing this.”

Arlyne Alston is the Senior Director of Development at Lower Lights Christian Health Center. She told NBC4 this store will make shopping easier for families to buy fresh fruit and produce, that not everyone in the area has access to a vehicle and the closest grocery store is on Mound Street.

The store will have premade meals where the community can pick up healthy meals instead of having to resort to fast food options. The whole process was two years in the making consisting of planning and meetings.

Construction began in May and Lower Lights Christian Health Center will operate the nonprofit grocery store and cafe. The grocery store is expected to open up this fall.

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