As Kroger closes, community garden launches

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Weeks after the grocery chain Kroger announced the closing of three of its locations in the Mid-South, community members are still upset.

A group of people protested Wednesday outside of the Kroger on South Third Street and East Belz Boulevard. Kids held up signs saying,"I Need Fresh Food."

But while some want Kroger to stay open, others in South Memphis are creating alternative ways to get fresh food.

Lorrie Garcia and Keedran Franklin are with C3 Land Cooperative. The group recently purchased this land just a mile and a half away from the closing Kroger location.

These lots are vacant now, but Franklin said soon this land will be a community garden and work cooperative.

"Food deserts, and seeing how we can really help deplete food deserts by establishing our own self-sustained way of eating," Franklin said.

The goal is to grow produce and sell it in order to support the land cooperative, while also giving community members a place they can grow their own food to eat or sell.

"We think it's a great opportunity for the people in the neighborhood to come together and build something of their own," Garcia said.

With still no word on if a grocery store will step up to replace Kroger, Franklin and Garcia see community gardens as a possible solution.

"A great sight to see people taking their power back," Franklin said.

The C3 cooperative will start work on the garden Feb. 3, and they are asking for community members to come out and help.

There is also a scheduled town hall meeting Thursday, hosted by City Councilman Edmund Ford Jr., to discuss the closing of the Kroger locations at the Riverview Community Center.

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