High Point community hopes to save local Food Lion

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- A High Point community plans to discuss the next steps in its efforts to keep a neighborhood Food Lion open.

The grocer has announced plans to close its location at 3136 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in June.

The decision has been concerning to people in the neighborhood, many saying it would put a burden on people with certain challenges.

“A lot of people walk to this area,” Nicole Leak said.

Robert Williams, pastor at Williams Memorial CME Church, and others in his congregation played a key role in launching a petition to keep the store open.

“Food Lion is an anchor in this community, and whenever you pull up an anchor, then all of a sudden you have other issues,” he said.

A Food Lion spokesperson told FOX8 via e-mail “it was not viable for us to operate a store in that location, especially considering we have several other locations in very close proximity.”

The spokesperson said the other two closest locations to the closing site are 1107 E. Lexington Ave. in High Point (approximately 3.9-4.6 miles away according to online mapping data), and 118 W. Main Street in Jamestown (approximately 2.7-3.5 miles away according to online mapping data).

“Even though in their minds two miles is right up the street, but in this community two miles may [really be a] challenge for persons to get there,” Williams said.

“[They’re] going to tell us we can drive somewhere? What about the people who have to catch the bus?” Floyd Smith asked rhetorically.

A community meeting was scheduled for Friday evening at Calvary Baptist Church in High Point to talk about the issue, including how to move forward to ensure people in the most affected areas have access to nutritious food.

This is the full statement from the Food Lion Spokesperson:

"Food Lion has made the difficult decision to close its store located at 3136 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in High Point, N.C., as a result of the lease ending at this location. The store will close on or before June 15. All associates employed at this store have been offered positions in our nearby locations. We appreciate the support of our dedicated associates and loyal customers at this location for many years, and look forward to serving them at one of our other nearby locations, several of which are within a few miles of this store."