Atlantic City City Council President William “Speedy” Marsh and I grew up together, and we both graduated from high school in 1972. So when I moved back to A.C. in 2008, I had no problem asking him, “Why don’t we have a supermarket in Atlantic City and when are we going to get one?”
He said the reasons were complicated and promised me then that a supermarket was high on the Mayor’s list of priorities.
For four years, I continued to ask Speedy every time I saw him.
Well, right after I wrote about A.C. being a food desert, wouldn’t you know it! Save A Lot had its official opening with city leaders last week.
I hung out there the day after it opened to see what locals had to say about the place, but the volume of customers on opening day said it all: Local residents have been desperate for a grocery store for more than five years and a great need has now been fulfilled.
Generally, shoppers said they were satisfied, but in a way that reminded me of Santorum’s endorsement of Romney: Could be better yet definitely better than no supermarket at all.
Prices are competitive with other area food stores. Still, some people wondered if they would stay that way or if current prices were specifically for the grand opening. When I entered, a Save A Lot employee deposited 25 cents for my shopping cart as an opening courtesy, but she said in the future, customers will deposit a quarter for use of the cart and have it returned at check-out — never heard of that one before.
Neither was I used to passing through a gate to begin my shopping. Next, the produce section was tiny.
Residents told me one of the reasons past stores didn’t survive was because of the high levels of theft. (Maybe that was the reason for the gate.) There was definitely a high security presence in the store today. Others said that the cost of the building and taxes discouraged food companies from purchasing or leasing the property for so many years.
Either way, Save A Lot has taken a chance on a community that truly needs a place to buy groceries. Elderly shoppers and those without cars seemed overjoyed by the location. Many said they could now spend money on more food rather than transportation to and from Brigantine, where prices are much too high, and Absecon or Ventnor, where the other closest markets are.
Even a couple of visitors from New York said that Save A Lot was much better than over-priced convenient stores in the city.
In a community rife with high blood pressure and diabetes, I was disappointed by the lack of options for those who suffer from these health problems, and I wasn’t the only one. I met a few people who said that they were not shopping but dropped in to see what the store had to offer. They were disappointed by the small produce section, no organic products, no fresh seafood, no bakery and no deli.
In 2013, let’s ask ourselves what we’re doing or not doing to contribute to the good, and what we’re doing or not doing to contribute to the bad.
Though the night was filled with spoken-word talent of all genres, children and young adults also spoke passionately about being bullied and the challenges of growing up in a society that glorifies violence but complains about the proliferation of violence and guns in our neighborhoods.
Wash's hosts 'Rewind - Live Radio Show,' bringing back sounds of Motown with several local talented performers.
Well, MJ is gone and Diana can’t make it to Atlantic-Cape Community College, but there will be some phenomenal local talent performing on June 8 and 9 at the Mays Landing campus in the Walter E. Edge Hall.
It seems that our nation has once again been reminded of people’s fears when it comes to black men, young ones in particular. What I’m ashamed of, however, is admitting my fear of white men, young ones in particular.
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We didn’t use the term “food desert,” but we knew exactly what consumer advocates meant when they declared our city one. Food deserts are communities where residents have little to no access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Sometimes fresh meats and dairy products are also included.
Last Thursday, April 5, Henrietta Shelton and the Chicken Bone Beach Foundation opened their spring jazz series at Top of the Trop in the Tropicana Casino. With a room full of supporters, Mayor Lorenzo Langford was on deck to present Henrietta with a proclamation from the City of Atlantic City for service to the community by way of preserving family values, developing community engagement and promoting an appreciation of America’s classical music — jazz.
“Three months to hurry and nine months to worry” was the slogan for locals who looked forward to having work and making as much money as possible during this short period.
Homeopathy is very patient-specific and Dr. Bohle said she gathers a lot of information before considering possible remedies for an individual.
Jacob Lawrence Day in Atlantic City
Black History, Jazz and Poetry