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Small Boone County town seeks turnaround

Register-Herald photo by Chris Jackson Curtis Moore helped start the Good Samaritan Ministries Store in Whitesville in 2006. It remains one of the few places where people can buy clothing and other home goods. Moore, is from Whitesville, but recently moved to Charlotte, N.C. “This town is going to die without one (grocery),” he said while in town donating items to the store. “A grocery store will put the heart back in the community. The people are suffering bad.”
Register-Herald photo by Chris Jackson
Curtis Moore helped start the Good Samaritan Ministries Store in Whitesville in 2006. It remains one of the few places where people can buy clothing and other home goods. Moore, is from Whitesville, but recently moved to Charlotte, N.C. “This town is going to die without one (grocery),” he said while in town donating items to the store. “A grocery store will put the heart back in the community. The people are suffering bad.”

WHITESVILLE, W.Va. — There is a big parking lot in front of the Save-A-Lot building here, but no cars, or lights, or food on the shelves.

The Save-A-Lot has been closed for many months. A short distance away the former Family Dollar store is also empty. Its lights turned off permanently last summer.

 “Access to fresh food, like meat and produce, no longer exists for residents of the town and surrounding communities,” said Adam Pauley, a resident of Whitesville.

He explained area people must travel several miles to Glen Daniel or Comfort to the nearest grocery store, some 16 miles or more away. Those without transportation are dependent on friends, neighbors and community groups to get them to a food market.

The town’s recorder, Louie Minios, said the stores shuttered because of lack of sales.

“It was a business decision,” he said. “They did not have the business to support them.”

So, here is the problem: Supermarket chains cannot support a store in Whitesville and the citizens do not have a local market to shop. What can be done?

To address the issue, said Pauley, a small committee is forming to “evaluate” different possibilities including a co-operative grocery for easier access to fresh, healthy foods.

Bringing a grocery store is goal No.1 for officials in Whitesville, a town that recently won the Turn this Town Around contest..

 

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