COLORADO SPRINGS — King Soopers, a grocery outlet serving much of Colorado, announced plans to reopen one of its stores that closed in Colorado Springs following confirmation of asbestos contamination.
On Tuesday, the company announced the store located at 2910 South Academy Boulevard should reopen on November 1st, 2023. The store closed abruptly in June after reports of asbestos contamination.
Solid Rock CDC and Food to Power, two food pantries on the southeast, said they have been hit with more demand as more people in the area are in need of another food access point.
"King Soopers on South Academy and Hancock is the major grocery store for folks in the southeast," said Patience Kabwasa, Executive Director of Food to Power. "We have already served more people this year than we did all of last year.
She said in the months after the store closure, the pantries Hillside Hub location on Institute Street served 200 to 300 more people each month. Kabwasa said the reopening of the store will help take pressure off of food pantries, but food insecurity on the southeast side will remain a concern.
"It's better for the residents, in general, to be able to go to a neighborhood store and not have to think about how you have to navigate an additional route just to get milk and eggs," she said. "Food insecurity was already an issue before King Soopers closed due to asbestos.
In a news release Tuesday, the company said they had been working with the CDPHE and the asbestos consulting firm to remove the substance from the building and that the process was almost complete. The store also plans to continue forward with the previously scheduled renovations for this store which should be complete with the timeline of reopening.
Food to Power hosts its No Cost Grocery program every Tuesday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hillside Hub at 1090 S. Institute Street in Colorado Springs. Anyone can show up and take home fresh produce, canned goods, and dried goods for free.
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