The Treacherous West Haven Food Desert

The Treacherous West Haven Food Desert

Liz Sloane, Contributing Writer

The West Haven community and University of New Haven students used to flock to the great central watering hole, also known as ShopRite. The source had dried up and relocated elsewhere, as of this past summer. When students made their journey home after the school year commenced, they had no notion that this “luxury” would vanish. Thirsty Chargers are feeling the aftermath.

The plentiful grocery store that once graced our neighborhood plaza, was moved to Orange, close to the West Haven town line. This doesn’t make things any better, in fact, it adds insult to injury. ShopRite moved, leaving us with no other supermarkets in walking distance of campus. Where did they move to? About seven minutes away…by car. Albeit, the drive is not impossible, but how can we be happy about this when it was once at our fingertips. And for those of us who don’t have our cars, it’s a twenty minute travel by bus.

With the disappearance of ShopRite, students have limited options where they can buy groceries. In walking vicinity, there is a CVS Pharmacy, a 7/11, some fast food venues, and our very own campus C-store. None of which offer a variety of products that could rival or replace Shoprite. The C-store is fine, if you’re only purchasing small items. The prices are inflated and buying multiple items there on the regular will make your wallet suffer unnecessarily. Some students have decided to make the trek to ShopRite’s new location and have described it as “a pain in the ass.”

Although, some have benefitted from the move, the neighborhood that ShopRite relocated to had been lacking a grocery store for quite some time. The neighboring residents are extremely pleased, especially with the job opportunities that have been created. Unfortunately for us, we are now in the reversed position. We’re living in what is referred to as a food desert; a place, typically with low-income inhabitants, that do not have much access to healthy food.

There are rumors that the university may purchase the old venue, but as of right now, it’s unknown whether that’s fact or fiction. With no immediate solution in sight, it appears that Chargers are going to have to make the adjustment. This means settling for what’s in the immediate vicinity, or carving time out of our busy schedules allotting for either the drive or the lengthy bus ride.