Laney Walker sees Food Desert problems

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AUGUSTA,Ga. (WJBF)- The city of Augusta has a food problem. Specifically the lack of access to fresh food in the Laney-Walker area. City leaders got together with community members on Tuesday to talk about it.

Augusta commissioners called a meeting after resident Von Pouncey spoke to the commission on October 1st about the food desert concern in Laney Walker community.

“It’s food desert. It’s food swamp and it’s also being food insecure and people tend to gloss over the fact that we have a triple threat,” says Dr. Von Pouncey.

Pouncey said for three weeks she shopped for food only in the neighborhood to experience first-hand living without a nearby grocery store.

“Which is why I’m asking for a temporary plan to be put into play while we work on what seems to be a great long term plan,” says Dr. Von Pouncey.

Plans to add a ‘Good Food Market’ to the Laney-Walker area, which will offer a full-service grocery selection in a fraction of the space but some commission members aren’t sold.

“I heard that presentation before, I’m watching to see what happens. We had to bring it to the point of meeting for someone to say something,” says Marion Williams, District 9 Commissioner.

This new market is expected to only use 1,000 square feet of space. The plan for good market goes far beyond food. It’ll pay a living wage and offering educational and training opportunities in the community.

“We’re going to continue on and we’re going to make sure to stay abreast at what the commission is doing and that we keep asking them for the transparency that they showed us today and that they give us any updates for the actions they have taken,” says Dr. Pouncey.

No date or location for the good market was given during the meeting.

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