CINCINNATI — Longtime Madisonville residents took to the streets today to protest the loss of the closest thing the neighborhood has to a grocery store. Most said they won’t let it go without a fight.
Becoming a food desert is only the latest in a long list of concerns about their changing neighborhood
The people who live in this community rely on the Family Dollar for groceries. They say as more and more developments pop up they wonder where they fit in.
“I’m 79 years old, and I can’t just keep running different places,” Madisonville resident Henrietta Howard said.
For those who live near the Madisonville strip center at the intersection of Madison Road and Whetsel Avenue, the Family Dollar isn’t just a low-cost store – it’s a lifeline.
“I don’t drive, and I cannot depend on anybody taking me to the store all the time unless they’re going to charge,” Howard said. “This is the only place I can come to pick up extra stuff that I need.”
There is another option two miles away. It’s a five-minute drive, but a 30-minute walk.
“They say we’re not a food desert because Walmart’s down there, so my 96-year-old mother’s not going to walk to Walmart,” resident Rose Tanks said.
She said people in the neighborhood first learned of the impending closure about two weeks ago and have called Family Dollar’s corporate office to learn more about why it’s going out of business – so far they haven’t heard back.
WCPO asked if the property is being sold to a developer but did not get a response Friday night.
“If you live here and you’re not angry, something’s wrong,” resident Quintin Pearson said. “I’m very angry over this. Very angry.”
Those who have called the neighborhood home for generations said they’re worried the closure, coupled with the upscale developments, may soon make Madisonville unaffordable.
“This community has been for everybody,” resident Marjorie Moseley said. “It needs to stay for everybody and we need to continue to advocate for all."
Store employees said the store will be closed at the end of March at the latest, or sooner if they move all of their inventory.