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Students struggling to find groceries in neighborhood

Originally published in the October 8, 2010 issue

For the first time in the 20 years since Campustown has been open, there is no grocery store within walking distance of campus.

At one point, a Save-A-Lot was the largest retailer in the shopping center, but now there is only a CVS Pharmacy and a Dollar General.

Both offer several grocery items, however CVS is quite pricey and Dollar General sells few healthy options.

“I go to CVS sparingly because I feel like it is so expensive,” sophomore interactive media major Kendall Coleman said. “Also, they do not have everything I need. I would rather wait and go someplace like Walmart where I know their prices, and I know they have what I need.”

A few students said going to Outtakes is an alternative to grocery shopping. While this is cheaper than some stores, the selection is far more limited.

“I only go to Outtakes when I am looking for the very basics in groceries, or when I am trying to save money because Outtakes is cheaper than CVS,” freshman psychology major Melissa Kriauciunas said.

Most freshmen are not allowed cars on campus, so they must find rides from either the few freshmen with cars or upperclassmen, something that proves to be tougher than it sounds.

“I am trying to catch rides with friends, but it always seems like I am pleading for someone to drive me somewhere, so I feel bad for asking,” freshman public relations major Daniel Benveiste said.

Many students said they feel asking for rides can be a chore.

“Occasionally I ask, though no one is around often enough,” freshman AEP major Akilah Brown said.

Other students wait until family or friends come to visit to stock up or even wait until breaks.

“I stock up whenever I am home and bring them back to my dorm,” freshman AEP major Nicole Wlezien said.

Another student, freshman AEP major Natalie Horcher said she has the same problems.

“The only time I can get groceries is when either my roommate or I have a visitor who drives down for the weekend,” she said. “They take us to Target and Fresh Market to stock up on quality food.”

To most students, it is a big deal that there is no grocery store within walking distance.

Students are forced to rely on stores such as Outtakes on campus, or Dollar General in Campustown or even just the dining halls, Coleman said.

“I think it affects everyone on campus,” she said. “Most of the people I know, myself included, end up running out of meal plan because of the fact there is not a place to buy groceries.”

Students have expressed interest in several stores that are healthy and relatively well priced, with a variety of items such as a Target, Walmart, Meijer’s, Whole Foods and Kroger.

“If I could just walk to a Walmart close by it would save me money and time, which I could be spending on more important things,” freshman interactive media major Brandon Siriann said.

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