East Westwood residents to protest grocery store being replaced

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 8:41 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Residents in East Westwood are planning to protest after their only grocery store in the area shut down during the pandemic that could become a new plasma center.

Community members are saying they’re devastated this is happening because the closest grocery stores are miles away.

“This does not have a place in our community. This is going to harm our community. It’s going to harm the work we’ve been doing the past few years to improve our community and we need things like groceries over a business that’s just taking blood,” Executive Director of Cincinnati Urban Promise Abe Brandyberry said.

Brandyberry is just one of many hoping for his voice to be heard.

“There’s not grocery store around us and that is just an essential need we have in the community. This is one of the only spaces that is available that could bring a full grocery store for the people that live in East Westwood and the southern part of Westwood. This is just a huge problem for us,” he said.

Octapharma Plasma would be placed on the corner of Harrison and McHenry Avenue.

“People are going to go get their $20, $30 from giving plasma and they’re going to go to the corner and buy drugs,” Brandyberry said.

Te’Airea Powell, trustee with the East Westwood Improvement Association said why risk bringing crime into the area when the community could be fueled with fresh produce instead.

“The closest grocery store is Kroger on Ferguson, Kroger in Western Hills and then there’s one in Dent but that’s far away so we’re talking two or three bus rides. The problem we have is a lot of our residents because they have to ride the bus. You can only carry so many groceries on the bus so you wouldn’t be able to do full grocery shopping. We also have a lot of senior buildings. Those seniors, a lot of them, aren’t mobile. They have to rely on public transportation or a little access bus,” she said.

The protest is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on the corner of Harrison and McHenry.

Powell said she’s also trying to work with local leaders to see if there’s any legal steps they can take for the plasma center not to open.

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