North Tulsa Community Grocery Store by Joanna Durante

What would you do if the only grocery store in your community closed? One thing I feel deeply about is having a grocery store in North Tulsa that will serve the people there. For many years parts North Tulsa were considered to be a food desert, as there were not places to access healthy food nearby. There was a grocery store in North Tulsa but it has gone out of business and left the people without near access to fresh produce and other basic staples. In May of last year, my husband began working on an initiative for community development in North Tulsa. He began putting together the plan and he developed a plan called C.E.E.D, which stands for Community Development, Economic Empowerment, Educational Enhancement and Developing stronger families. So far he and I along with others have had two community meetings where we have talked about developing strategies and ideas to bring about a grocery store in that area. Our first meeting was televised on a local news channel where I was interviewed and they showed me speaking favorably and supportively about the success that I believe a grocery store can have in the community if the people there contribute to its development.
In our second meeting several members of the community gave testimonies of why they felt a grocery store is important in the North Tulsa area. A fifth-grader noted that her family has to drive all the way to Owasso to buy groceries. A young lady stated that the cost of butter at a nearby store, that is not a grocery store, costs far above what a grocery store charges for butter. An elderly citizen spoke about how if you live in North Tulsa you are likely to live 14 years less than if you live in South Tulsa. Studies have shown one reason is due to the lack of access to healthy foods. A young man stated ways that he believes that the community can develop and sustain a grocery that would include an upscale a restaurant. The grocery store can also have trolleys that can pick up shoppers and take them to and from the grocery store was his idea.
Overall, my husband and I continue to work diligently on developing a grocery store system that will sustain itself and service the people of the North Tulsa community. We are in favor of a non- profit grocery store which has been first accomplished in the U.S. in Chester, PA. We have just begun and we have a long journey ahead of us but we are hopeful that these plans and labor will bring about a wonderful grocery store to serve the people in that area.
By Joanna Durante September 28, 2014


5 thoughts on “North Tulsa Community Grocery Store by Joanna Durante

  1. What are the obstacles?
    Who is being rallied?
    What are the next steps?
    What can I do?
    And how can I turn ‘I’ into ‘we’ into ‘everyone’?

    Do they know? –
    North Tulsa Economic Development Initiative

    Better yet, who are they anyway, and who am I in this justified cause?

  2. I think your writing has given North Tulsa a voice that many should hear. I think many people who live in the area would like to share their thoughts ,however, there are so many things wrong that it is hard for them to articulate their feeling. Thanks for sharing yours!

  3. Educate.
    Do you know how many grocery stores are in North Tulsa?
    Do you know how far it is to the nearest grocery store from a house in North Tulsa?
    Do you know the cost of staples like bread and milk in the area?
    Do you know the effects of not having healthy food available?
    Do you know how much shorter life expectancy is in North Tulsa?
    Do you know how you can help fix the situation in North Tulsa?
    Before action can be taken, the public needs to be educated. Many people are don’t know there is an issue. Many people know there is an issue but don’t know the proper steps to help. If we want to make a change, education is the answer.

  4. For Grocery Stores in North Tulsa
    Nov. 8, 2014
    Dear Community Member,
    Hello. Working on establishing grocery stores in North Tulsa has been an effort of many facets. My husband and I work at home tirelessly at the computer, typing out power points and newsletters for community members. He is often on the phone talking to someone who may be instrumental to our cause. We try to attend much of the community events and activities to get to know the members of the community. We also talk to as many of the community leaders as we can.
    What are the obstacles to the success of this venture? Well, they are many; such as doubt, division and lack of support.
    Who is being rallied? All persons interested in making this vision come to fruition; it is an all call to all people.
    What’s the next step? The next step is the meeting of the minds of all interested, willing individuals: pastors, teachers, business people, organizations, doctors, lawyers, you and me.

    Please join us Saturday November 15, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. at the Rudisill Library for our next meeting. We certainly want to see you there and hear what you have to say.
    Happy Shopping,
    Joanna Durante

  5. Joanna I feel that we must stand strong as warriors fighting for the rights to have food that is fresh and of good quality for the North Side. I stand with you to birth this dream of equality when it comes to North Tulsa. The young and the old all deserve the nutrition that a real grocery store, dedicated to quality and service, will bring to this community. Stand strong warrior and don’t give up. There will be some that will be complacent but there are many that will stand with you if they know you are sincere about that stance. I will help be a voice for those that don’t know that there is an advocate fighting for the extermination of the North Tulsa Food Desert! Forward ever!!


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