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Showing posts from June, 2018

Bringing Water to the Birchwood Food Desert

Michael Powell pushed his wife Sherry Powell in a wheelchair across a mostly-empty parking lot in the Birchwood neighborhood. Behind them, the remains of a boarded-up building rose into the sky. On the building’s facade was the outline of what used to say “Albertsons.” Just over two years ago, the grocery store in the Park Manor Shopping Center was frequented by people from the Birchwood neighborhood who regularly shopped there. Now closed, residents like Michael and Sherry Powell said they have struggled to find fresh, healthy, affordable food near their home. “Albertsons is well-missed here,” Michael said. “There should be a major grocery store in this ‘hood.” He said without the Albertsons, many Birchwood residents are forced to commute all the way to Haggen on Meridian Street or Fred Meyer on Lakeway Drive. The lack of a nearby grocery store has turned Birchwood into a near “food desert.” A food desert is defined as a low-income urban area in which residents are a mile or more away fro…