Heidelberg hopes to gain grocery store under new administration

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 8:47 PM CDT
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HEIDELBERG, Miss. (WDAM) - There are many communities across the United States labeled as food deserts.

These areas have limited access to affordable healthy food options. The town of Heidelberg is one of those places.

Mayor-elect David Taylor II said one of his main concerns is to address the reason why the town is known as a food desert.

“At one point, we did have two grocery stores here,” Taylor said. “I worked at one of those grocery stores while in high school, and we’re in need of the grocery store and I know we have the people here who are desiring that necessity and that’s one of our main goals.”

The closest grocery store to Heidelberg is about 20 miles away, in Laurel. Taylor said businesses are afraid to bring their stores to the area because they are not looking at the bigger picture.

“When you look at the population of the town of Heidelberg, that’s a very small number. However, Heidelberg includes all of those surrounding communities: Beaver Meadow, Shady Grove, Oak Bowery, Westly Chapel, Paulding, Leona, Sandhill, Pachuta and it increases those numbers,” Taylor said.

Greta Scott lives in Paulding. Although she’s able to grab basic grocery items at 1 Country Quickstop in downtown Heidelberg, she still has to travel a far distance to have a large variety of food options.

“It’s heartbreaking when you don’t have the means and things that you need to get to them when you need them,” Scott said. “It just causes hardship on you, when you’re going way out of the way, it’s hardship.”

Scott said it’s really hardest on her when she’s low on food items and needs something to cook fast because a trip to the grocery store can take two hours out of her day.

“It’s very inconvenient,” Scott said. “Just say I’d want to do a quick meal for the day and the grocery store is not here. I have to go 30 miles out of the away, or even further to Meridian, to get something.”

Heidelberg’s new leaders will be sworn into office on Wednesday, July 28, and Mayor-elect Taylor said getting a grocery store back in the town is one of his main concerns.

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