Gentrification may offer an answer to Grove

In the article by Jack Jacobs, “The search for a solution to Grove food desert,” (VG, Feb. 24) he discusses the issues that the community of Grove faces, in which they lack access to nearby grocery stores to be able to obtain food for daily consumption. I just wanted to explain why we see this as a problem in the community today, as shown by trends in communities in different societies around the world, as well as propose other solutions that could possibly be a viable way to give Grove access to things they don’t have.

Living in Williamsburg for more than eight years, it is known by almost everyone that the community and neighborhood of Grove is seen as the least developed area in the county and a somewhat “ghetto”; the majority of the community consists of minorities with lower incomes.

Similar to cities around the world, less developed neighborhoods are ignored and shunned by the public, and stores and businesses refuse to open in those areas because of how unprofitable they will be.

The article stated that of Grove’s 4,300 residents, 21 percent live in poverty and the average household income is $46,871. With this, it is not surprising at all that grocery stores have refused to open near the area. Simply put, what needs to happen is gentrification.

Across the nation and globally, gentrification is the process of improving the infrastructure of a community by renovating buildings and possibly opening and building new houses to market and make the area more attractive so people want to move there. This will put the area back on the map and businesses will bring their goods and services to these areas and finally give the residents access to things they don’t have including grocery stores.

This is a common process across many different low-income communities around the globe, for example Chicago. In the poorer neighborhoods of Chicago, massive gentrification occurs to the infrastructure to put housing neighborhoods back on the market and attract new people to the area. Instead of turning the other way and avoiding these troubled neighborhoods, we can take steps to recover and improve conditions in these neighborhoods

Malik Smith


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