Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil
Residents in Downtown Chattanooga’s Westside have been organizing with the help of Chattanooga Organized for Action to bring in a grocery store to serve the 3500 residents there. Gloria Griffith, a resident of the Westside says that many of the residents are senior citizens and disabled without the mobility to walk to the nearest Buehler’s Food Market downtown. Retired Minister, Leroy Griffith says that Buehler’s Market has a “heart of gold” but being limited by space, cannot meet all of the special dietary needs of residents. The Griffiths work with Angel Food Ministries to deliver food to citizens when funds are low at the end of the month but since the Dollar General closed on the Westside, residents have no nearby access to groceries.
There is strong evidence that residents of several low-income neighborhoods in Chattanooga also struggle with barriers to accessing affordable, healthy food.
In December, Chattanooga Organized for Action and citizens from the Westside organized a march to bring awareness to the lack of access to groceries which residents face. COA wrote:
This march is intended to demonstrate just how far residents in the West Side have to go just to purchase basic toiletries and canned foods.
Listen to the Story with Leroy and Gloria Griffith and COA organizer, Chris Brooks and Perrin Lance: