There are far too many neighborhoods in the country that do not have direct access to fresh foods (i.e. fruits, vegetables and meats). These areas are known as “food deserts” and residents living in them are more prone to heart disease, diabetes and obesity, due to the lack of nutritional options. They are also forced to pay higher prices for items in local convenience stores. For the past two years, Newport News, VA, was designated as a food desert. Thankfully, that label has been lifted off of the city, after the opening of a new grocery store.
On Tuesday afternoon, Jim’s Local Market opened in Newport News’ southeast community to great fanfare. A ceremony was held at the store’s location in the Brooks Crossing Development on Jefferson Ave.near 30th St, and featured the Heritage High School band and city officials.
“There’s really not a supermarket around here for miles, probably about four to five miles,” Jim Scanlon, the grocery store’s manager said in February. “Just to see people over the hot summers in Virginia carrying chilled products that should have been home quicker.”
The City of Newport News owns the land that Jim’s Local Market is located and paid for the construction, Scanlon (who developed the store’s layout) will pay the city through a lease as part of a public-private partnership. The store will also house a branch of BayPort Credit Union.
Scanlon looks to expand and open new locations of Jim’s Local Market in Hampton and Richmond.