John Legend is stepping up in a big way to help out locals from his hometown of Springfield, Ohio. In the wake of news that a grocery store many folks are dependent on is closing, the award-winning musician announced a free shuttle service that will begin running after Kroger on South Limestone closes its doors on Wednesday. The closing of the Kroger will leave many community members without an accessible grocery store, and the shuttle will be a huge service to them.
Meanwhile, in other news, the Kroger on South Limestone in Springfield OH closed last night, leaving no grocery on the entire south side of 59,000 pop city.
Mobile food pantries will occasionally park there. Local native John Legend recorded a PSA for a shuttle to other stores. pic.twitter.com/SVxsd03uiH
— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) March 4, 2020
“I recently learned that the last remaining grocery store on the south side of Springfield is pulling out of their location, creating a food desert in a part of town where a lot of folks that I know live, including some of my family,” Legend said. “So I am volunteering to work with city officials, like Mayor Warren Copeland and others, to bring a solution.”
The shuttle will be run by The Abilities Connection, a Springfield-based non-profit organization and the City of Springfield. In addition to shuttle service, Legend also said he will be partnering with city officials to come up with a more long-term solution to the food desert situation.
Shuttles start running on Saturday, March 7. They will pick up passengers in the Kroger parking lot on South Limestone and bring them to the Kroger on East Main Street.
“Please know that Springfield and I are doing what we can to bring a grocery back to the southside,” Legend, who has become more visibly politically active in recent years, said. “My hope is there is some good news sometime soon.”