Residents still concerned about northeast Wichita food desert


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A neighborhood in northeast Wichita is getting frustrated at how difficult it is to get a neighborhood grocery store.

The Walmart Neighborhood Market at 13th and Oliver shut down last year making the area a food desert. It means people with no cars have to walk more than a mile to get to the nearest store. However, a furniture store is going into the old Walmart location.

James Walker has lived at 13th and Oliver his whole life. He was frustrated to learn the newest business in the neighborhood won’t be a grocery store.

“You don’t need another furniture store in the area.”

Walker was hoping that when the Walmart shutdown it would eventually be replaced by another grocery store. Right no, there are a few options for food like the Sav-A-Lot, QuikTrip and dollar store. The nearest full service grocery store is miles away.

“21st and Rock or Douglass and Hillside.”

Walker’s concerned that those without transportation can’t walk that far for the basics.

“Say you need some hamburger meat or just anything, a banana, an apple say you need an apple you know, you gotta walk six miles round trip for an apple.”

He says without a full-service grocery store it’s tough for the community to sustain itself.

“It’s still a community. Ya know even as detached as it is in 2017, it’s still a community so when you do stuff like that, you’re pushing the community off, your’re making it hard for the community to eat.”

Renovations for the former Walmart will begin this year.

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