Newark's food desert blooms

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For many years, Newark is known as a food desert but, not for long. It’s now turning into an oasis.

Newark’s food landscape is mainly made out of fast food, convenient stores, restaurants, chains, and take out spots.

However, the town does have Whole Foods and Food Depot, and at the end of this month it is going to have a ShopRite as well.

“You have to travel all the way to East Orange to go to ShopRite so it’s good that we have one in our local area,” Newark resident, William Warren stated.

The new 66,000 square foot store is under construction at Springfield Avenue & Jones Street.

This is an estimated $92 million project. ShopRite will anchor the Springfield Avenue Marketplace – which will also include retail stores, restaurants, banks, and 152 apartment complexes.

The new ShopRite is expected to bring in 300 jobs to the Newark Community.

Neuropathy Surgeon, Dr. Glenn Gero from Clifton, NJ, mentioned he’s excited, but a food desert is more than just a lack of grocery stores.

“The problem is, is often times people don’t know what is healthy and what are some of their optimal nutritional choices, make the wrong choices because they’re looking for convenience, they’re looking for immediate gratification, rather than picking things that are going to be healthy for them,” Dr. Gero explained.

Several people in these types of communities have more than one job. Therefore, they don’t have enough time to prepare and cook food.

But, Dr. Gero believes the community just needs to be educated on what is healthy and how to eat healthy.