denver neighborhood waging battle against "food desert" burden, announces new grocery store plans
A site search is underway in Denver’s Montbello neighborhood for the construction of a new grocery store.
While the building of such a space may not strike outsiders as earth-shattering, in Montbello it’s important because this northeastern section of the city currently has no grocery store at all.
As such, Montbello is classified as a “food desert,” so defined by the federal Department of Agriculture as any section of a city or rural area lacking in “fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful foods, usually in impoverished areas.”
The last Montbello grocery, a Safeway supermarket, closed its doors some 5 years ago.
Now, members of the Montbello Organizing Committee, after unsuccessfully soliciting various grocery chains to open a site in the neighborhood, have decided to build the new store themselves.
To that end, the group has received funding from a variety of sources, including the Colorado Health Foundation and the Kresge Foundation.
The new store, as envisioned, will be a one-story structure, with an open front porch area, and will be a part of a larger project that will also include a cultural center.
Officials with the Montbello Organizing Committee say they hope to be able to purchase land for the grocery store by this spring, with construction to launch shortly afterwards.
A neighborhood of more than 30,000 people, Montbello’s home prices start at just over $200,000, compared to the current average Denver home sale price of more than $520,000.
By Garry Boulard
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