‘An even bigger food desert:’ Vine City neighbors concerned Walmart could close for good

ATLANTA — People in an Atlanta neighborhood are concerned about a possible long-term closure of their Walmart after a fire closed the store a month ago.

It’s the location on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in northwest Atlanta.

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Channel 2 Action News spoke with those in the community about the importance of the store.

“Losing this store will be a huge loss to the community,” Atlanta City Councilman Byron Amos said.

The Westside United Coalition and Vine City Civic Association held a community candlelight vigil on Sunday night on the closure of the Vine City Walmart.

The store opened in January 2013. Before it opened, those living in the area said they would drive miles to shop for their families.


People in the area considered it a food desert after the Vine City Publix closed in 2009. The store said it was due to lower than expected sales. If the Walmart closes, the community says access will be worse than before.

“It creates an even bigger food desert, of fresh fruits and vegetables. It’ll also create what we call a medical desert. Our senior citizens will not be able to no longer get, go right down the street to get their medicine, life saving drugs that they need as well,” Amos said.

There’s also the financial impact.

Families around the area have an average annual income of under $35,000. Not only will it add an extra cost for people to travel to another store, it’ll also leave tens of dozens jobless.

“This in terms of jobs, in terms of opportunities, it’s gonna take a huge chunk out of the Vine City community, specifically within the inner city,” Georgia attorney Elijah Porter said.

Walmart has not officially said if it will close the store.

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