Grocery store opening ends food desert in Highland Hills

New grocery store opens in southern Dallas

DALLAS -  For the first time in nearly a decade, the Highland Hills community of Oak Cliff is no longer a food desert. 

When Save-A-Lot opened its doors Friday morning at 3540 Samuel Stuart Road, the line to get in wound around the building. 

The store gave away bags of free food to the first 250 customers, but shoppers' excitement was about the long term impact the store could have on their community. 

"It's a blessing, it's a blessing, they finally got this open now, I give it a thumbs up," said Gracie Hill, who has lived in the community for 30 years. "It means a whole lot to personally to myself and to my family. I'm sure everyone is excited about it."

Before this store opened, many had to drive for miles - or use public transportation to get basic groceries. Others, picked up what they could at local corner stores.

Former mayor,  Tennell Atkins helped bring the store to the area. 

He says most other stores, turned him down. But then, a local businessman said yes, and opened a Save-A-Lot, with help from $2.8 million in city incentives.

"Ten years to get a grocery store in a food desert? Now it's like an oasis. And I'm here to make sure that a food desert never happens again in this area," said Atkins. 

The store is bringing not just food, but jobs to the area. It employs 25 to 30 people. 

"Our goal is to make sure that the community knows that we're here for them," said store manager Renee Jones. 

Atkins hopes the store's opening will attract other grocery stores to the community. 

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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