KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A new grocery store is on the way for a neighborhood that doesn't have many places to buy food.
An Aldi grocery store will be built at 39th and Prospect.
It's an inner city neighborhood known as a food desert, where it's hard to find fresh food.
Neighbor Bessie Mays is happy that soon, she won't have to go so far away to shop for groceries.
"It shows us that someone cares for us and our neighborhood is growing. That's the big deal. A change is taking place at 39th and Prospect," said Mays.
The neighborhood has a few corner stores, but no real grocery stores.
Leon's Thriftway, the next closest grocery store, is 19 blocks east.
Many customers walk, and have to carry their bags home.
Nearby, Robert West sells fresh vegetables, like these huge turnips, out of his pickup.
It's parked along 39th Street just a couple of blocks from the site of the proposed grocery store.
He gets whatever is in season from a farmer near Lexington.
He then sells it from his truck, creating an oasis right here in his own neighborhood.
"The reaction is this... No problem. As fast as I can get it, it's gone. Because it's home grown, and most people want home grown stuff," said West.
The project is finally a go, five years after the city first offered tax breaks to build here.
Houses were torn down and the land cleared several years ago.
The city is putting in new sidewalks, and hoping the project sparks even more redevelopment in the area.
"We've had some challenges in the area, but I think this will be a plus. It will help with employment, as well as housing," said Melba Curls, a KCMO city council member representing the area.
"It takes the vacant lots and blight out of our neighborhood," added Mays.
It's a $5 million dollar project promising 13 new jobs, plus fresh food, and fresh hope for this neighborhood.
Construction will start soon, and the store should be open by next summer.
The Ivanhoe neighborhood group plans to hold a drawing to award the honor of being the first customer when the store opens.
The store will be more than 16,000 square feet and is getting city tax breaks to help fund the project.
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