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Giant grocery store in West Baltimore shutting down, turning Edmondson Village into a food desert

West Edmondson residents facing food desert, local Giant shutting down
West Edmondson residents facing food desert, local Giant shutting down 02:13

BALTIMORE -- Neighbors in one west Baltimore neighborhood are figuring out what to do for groceries, due to the Giant Food location in Edmondson Village closing next month.

The company announced the closure Tuesday. It's the neighborhood's only full service grocery store, so it's closure has left shoppers surprised.

Darlen Jackson lives so close to the Giant on 4624 Edmondson Ave. that she can walk there with ease.

"In the wintertime, on bad days, I can walk up here and back," Jackson said. "This is the only place I get my medicine from."

Even other shoppers who are able to drive expressed concern about the impact, with no other major grocery store within a mile of Edmondson Village.

"This is the only Giant I can walk to. There is another one, but it's about a couple miles down the road on Route 40. There will be people who miss this location," said Iheon Wuka.

WJZ asked Giant why this specific location is closing, but the company didn't provide a clear answer.

In a news release, the company noted the store's June 13 closure is happening a week after the location at 4622 Wilkens Ave. is reopening. With that location around two miles south of the Edmondson Avenue location, Giant is hoping shoppers head over there.

"We believe the expansion and enhanced amenities at our newly remodeled Wilkens Avenue store offers a fantastic replacement for our Edmondson Avenue location," said Ira Kress, president of Giant Food, in a statement.

Jackson, however, feels having to go to a new location isn't fair.

"How can I get there if I don't drive? I don't know the buses that well like that. That's a long way from here," she said.

Baltimore City Councilman Kristerfer Burnett represents District 8, which includes Edmondson Village. He said been in contact with Mayor Brandon Scott's office, the Edmondson Square plaza's owner, as well as other city departments about trying to attract a replacement -- especially with the neighboring Edmondson Village Shopping Center's multimillion-dollar redevelopment in the works.

But, Burnett is also figuring out how to deal with the immediate impact. Some things he's looking into include launching a farmers market and helping transport Edmondson Village residents to the Wilkens Avenue Giant location.

Giant confirmed workers at Edmondson Avenue have been offered transfers to work at other locations. Also, pharmacy customers will be notified to move their prescriptions.

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