From Yes! Weekly:
If Greensboro learned anything from the White Street Landfill fight, it’s the power of grassroots organizing and that the residents of northeast Greensboro are a force to be reckoned with. The same people who shut down attempts to reopen the landfill in their backyard are gearing up to take on another chronic issue in their neighborhood — the lack of a grocery store.
Tired of asking the city or a private investor to come to the rescue, the community has outlined a plan to open a cooperative grocery store on the site themselves.
“With a cooperative like the one we’re trying to establish the money goes back into the community,” participant Sadie Blue said. “We have a vested interest. It’s our store, and we have the ability to make the store fit the needs of the people in that community.”
For 15 years, the neighborhood has hoped and pushed for a new grocery store in the Bessemer Shopping Center on Phillips Avenue near the McGirt-Horton library, where Winn Dixie used to have a store. The city of Greensboro owns the land, but has failed to make good on its plans to lure a grocery store to the location. The neighborhood is one of nine food deserts according to the US Department of Agriculture in the city, forcing residents to rely on convenience stores for staples like bread or to travel to other parts of town for groceries.
The Renaissance Cooperative Committee was formally launched and officials were elected in December after months of planning and discussions. Cooperative President Leo Steward said attendance has increased at each meeting, and about 40 people turned out for the community meeting last week for updates and discussions on the process.