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"Where are people supposed to go?": Walmart closure exposes growing gaps in north metro

"Where are people supposed to go?": Walmart closes location on Brooklyn Center
"Where are people supposed to go?": Walmart closes location on Brooklyn Center 02:01

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. -- When the Brooklyn Center Walmart closes its doors April 21, it will subtract from an already dwindling list of resources for affordable groceries for people in the area. 

The store closure, which a corporate statement says is tied to poor performance, comes after Aldi and Walgreens shut their doors for good on Minneapolis' north side. 

For many who shopped at Aldi before it closed, Brooklyn Center's Walmart was the next closest place to find affordable groceries. 

"Everything is closing, so now it's like I've got to go further and further out to get the basic necessities," said shopper Felicia Robinson of Minneapolis. "Aldi's is closed to, so everything is getting shut down in this community. So it's like where are people supposed to go? Super far to get the basic necessities is super unfortunate."

"It's a very convenient store, and it's cheap. I kind of feel bad," said shopper Rohan Peters. 

In a city statement, Brooklyn Center officials pledged to fill the space with another option. In the meantime, nonprofits and food shelves say they're uncertain what could happen next. 

RELATED: Food shelves in North Minneapolis report unprecedented number of people in need

"When you stack on things like the housing, the inflation, the loss of jobs that happen in the community, I think it has massive impact," said Paul Andrighetti, who serves as director of basic needs at CAPI in Brooklyn Center. 

Andrighetti says while the food shelf at CAPI is restocked regularly, it often empties within days. 

"It's just going to continue to get even more messy," he said. "The community is going to continue to get even more desperate. More people will likely slump into a higher level of insecurity."

"There just needs to be something else here, though," Robinson said. "It's a lot of elderly people and other people that use this Walmart a lot. If you're going to take something out, bring something else back in. So people don't have to go very far to find something else."

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