Neighborhood food stores can be a blessing or a curse. Often, the management of a neighborhood market can have a direct impact on the neighborhood itself, whether by offering desirable goods or selling cowards.
For years I have heard of a handful of inferior West Siders who every time I meet them tell me about the problems caused by a market owner who refuses to do anything about the waste issues , loitering, selling loosies, and many other issues plaguing the area. The biggest problem with grocery stores that don’t address problematic issues is that they tend to spill over into the neighborhood.
One way to hold market owners accountable for their actions is for concerned neighbors to attend grocery store license renewal meetings, which helps to hold market owners accountable for their actions or inactions, as the case may be.
“We want the community to have access to high-quality food items such as fresh fruits, vegetables and unexpired produce on the shelves,” said Lovejoy board member Bryan Bollman. “This is having a real effect on the residents of the City of Buffalo. It is important that we have an open discussion with community members and store owners during the grocery store license renewal process.
Rasheed Wyatt, meeting sponsor and University District Council member, also added, “Each year, residents have the opportunity to help improve the University District’s 35 grocery stores. I am proud to empower them, now it is up to them to take advantage of this opportunity.
Often there is little communication between a neighbor and a nearby grocery store. These grocery store license renewal meetings help connect people with the places they frequent or would like to frequent (if circumstances were better). After all, the once neighborhood market was a bustling epicenter of the community – a place to buy daily sundries, fresh produce and other conveniences. As Buffalo’s neighborhoods continue to rebound, we hope the corner market once again becomes a thriving institution where business is good. and the neighbors are happy.
Although the next two grocery store license renewal meetings are for the Lovejoy and University districts, the meetings are open to everyone and should provide valuable insight into a more comprehensive approach to the issues at hand. Anyone interested in learning about similar meetings taking place in other districts should contact their respective advisors.
Lovejoy and University District Council members Bryan Bollman and Rasheed NC Wyatt will hold two grocery store license renewal meetings on March 10 and 16 at Kensington Neighborhood Housing (995 Kensington Avenue Buffalo, NY 14215) from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The meetings are intended to ensure greater cooperation between owners, business operators and the licensing renewal process community. The process helps resolve issues with stores before the City of Buffalo and aims to establish better communication. It will also help the parties understand the licensing process, address gaps in legislation, and identify the needs of shop owners and residents for District Council members to assist.
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