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Local leaders weigh-in on Kroger stores closing in Peoria

PEORIA, Ill. - Local leaders are concerned about food deserts in two Peoria neighborhoods after Kroger announced it would close two stores on Peoria's East Bluff and South Side.

The stores closing up shop are on North Wisconsin Avenue and Harmon Highway. The company says poor financial performances are the cause behind the closures.

City council woman Denise Moore says with the store's closing there's nothing left to fall back on.

"This is really a health crisis," says Councilwoman Denise Moore. "People are not able to get food because when the Aldi closed and then Save-A-Lot came in, and it took us 2 and a half years to get the Save-A-Lot, now the Save-A-Lot closed and the fall back position was the Harmon Highway Kroger," she says. "Now that's going away."

Kroger officials say they will continue to re-stock essentials like milk, bread, and meat until the end of the month but less popular items will not be re-stocked.

Last week, Mayor Jim Ardis called the closures a punch in the gut.

"When something like this happens it drives people outside of our community to spend money," says Mayor Jim Ardis. "It's a double whammy so its something we are going to work on [and] it's something that is very important to us," he says. "There really is nothing more basic to have accessibility to have good food source."

Kroger also says it's re-evaluating construction projects across the country, including the one on Lake Avenue. The store was supposed to move across the parking lot, to the old Kmart location, but will stay where it is for the foreseeable future.

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