Task Force Set Up Following Smart Saver Closing In NE OKC
A northeast Oklahoma City community came together days after learning about the closing of Smart Saver, the neighborhood's only full-service grocery store.
On Sunday, the store was full of customers, stocking up before the store closes for good on Monday.
“The last-minute shopping,” said Robert White Jr., a shopper. “They're trying to get it in today, other than that, it's gonna be no way.”
The store, located at Northeast 23rd Street and Martin Luther King Avenue, unexpectedly announced it was closing last week.
“This is the closest store for all of us on the east side,” said White. “This is the only store within walking distance for the handicapped, for the disabled, you name it there's a lot of people over here that depend on this store.”
The company has yet to release why the store is closing, but the community wasted no time kicking into gear a plan. On Sunday, the Energy FC, hosted the OKC Ward 7 block party at 1900 NE 8th Street near Douglass Mid-High School. The event included music, games, food trucks and a meet and greet with Energy players. However, it also allowed a time for Oklahoma City Councilwoman Nikki Nice to unveil her task force to the community.
“We're committed to this community, I’m committed to making sure throughout this transition that we are able to conquer, we are a resilient community, and we will rise above this challenge,” Nice said.
Through the NE OKC Health Task Force, resources are available to those who need it, including transportation to nearby full-service grocery stores by EMBARK and area churches. Several mobile food pantries also have been set up to help.
“There are a couple of places throughout the northeast community that are not far from where that store is so that will be places where people who have an immediate need can get those needs met,” Nice said.
The store closes Monday, but the free rides begin Tuesday. For more information on the bus schedule and other resources for food access, visit NE OKC Food here.