Minneapolis neighborhoods face food desert after looting closes shops| Instant News


With Cub, Target, two Aldi shops and many small markets damaged by riots over the past week, Longfellow and about eight other neighborhoods have almost become a food desert.

“I consider the loss of this business devastating,” said Melanie Majors, executive director of the Longfellow Community Council. “Apart from just food, there is a shortage of retailers for diapers, formula milk, household goods, even clothing.”

Many residents in the area shop at cheaper stores like Aldi or the dollar store. Two of the dollar stores – including the Family Dollar on Lake Street – were destroyed in the looting and violence last week that emerged after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis police custody.

An Aldi store on E. Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis reopened Monday after electricity was restored. The frozen food section has been removed due to a blackout that began last weekend, but the shelves are being refilled Monday.

Shashana Craft of Maple Grove bought groceries there Monday for Headway Emotional Health Services, where she works with Indigenous families.

“I’ve never seen a shelf as dense as this,” he said. “If people can’t go to the grocery store, they should check with the church or support group that offers free food and groceries.”

The department said several places offered free food and supplies: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church near 31st Street and Minnehaha Avenue; The Heart of the Beast Theater on S. 15th Avenue and E. Lake; and Sanford Middle School at E. 35th Street and S. 42nd Avenue.

Strengthening the problem over the weekend and again on Monday is the fact that Metro Transit does not operate buses or trains. Public transportation will be closed again on Tuesday.

Sylvester Hudson runs about 40 minutes from Fort Snelling Apartments to Cub Foods on E. 46th Street and Hiawatha Avenue.

This is the only supermarket left in the Longfellow neighborhood along the railroad track after four other supermarkets closed due to destruction during protests.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to take a taxi, so I might have to walk,” said Hudson, 70, who is carrying a two-wheeled cart for food transportation, when he finished shopping at Cub Foods. “This is the only shop left open in an environment where I can walk.”

Local residents by vehicle can find open supermarkets nearby at Longfellow Market, S. 38th Avenue and E. Lake, and Lunds & Byerlys in the St. Highlands Plateau neighborhood. Paul.

Although shorter on Monday, there were queues at several city markets on Sunday, similar to when Governor Tim Walz first issued an order to stay home to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Business has gone up more than 60% in the Longfellow Market since other stores were forced to close, according to manager Terry Mahowald.

“We never planned to be this busy,” he said. “Everyone is stressed out. This is certainly not the way we want to increase traffic.”

He plans to add more generic goods at lower prices to help keep prices reasonable for buyers at natural and organic food stores.

Delivery to home via Shipt or Instacart is also not an option for the environment.

Delivery services usually choose from the closest shops. With four of them closed, other arrangements are being made.

Target has a Shipt and is working on arrangements to fill shipping orders through another Target, a spokeswoman said. The Minneapolis-based retailer has also promised to rebuild the Lake Street store, hopefully by the end of this year.

Mahowald thanked environmental volunteers for saving the Longfellow Market.

“We have had nearly 25 people from the neighborhood looking after it every night since Tuesday,” he said.

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