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Small grocery stores expect uptick in business during King Soopers strike

For some, the grocery chain is the only market in their neighborhood for others, it may give shoppers an opportunity to explore other markets in their area.

DENVER — The King Soopers strike is expected to have an impact on Colorado communities. For some, the grocery chain is the only market in their neighborhood for others, it may give shoppers an opportunity to explore other markets in their area.

"I would love to see them come in," May Zhou said. Zhou manages the Park Hill Supermarket. The wholesale and grocery store sells a lot of Asian products but they also stock those essential items most households look for. 

"Right now, I know with those strikes, I know a lot customers say there a lot of departments closed for them. When they go in, the shelves are empty," she explained. "But for us, we still have full supply, we're doing wholesale but a lot of things we have are fully stocked."

Shopper Melanie Durocher was surprised to see that was the case. She decided to visit the Park Hill Supermarket to avoid shopping at King Soopers. 

"We don't want to cross the picket line," Durocher explained. "So we looked it up and here we are and I'm absolutely amazed. I will be back; this is really great." 

While some may have the opportunity to shop at smaller alternative grocery stores in Colorado neighborhoods, others are not so lucky and may only be able to rely on big box grocery stores. 

"If you’re moving everyone from one grocery store to another, they’re not going to be able to purchase what they need and it’s going to exacerbate the situation," Letisha Steele the CEO of Denver Food Rescue told 9NEWS.

Steele said for other neighborhoods, Kroger grocery stores are the only option available because of food deserts and bus access. 

"The folks that live in those neighborhoods that [King Soopers] is their easiest access to get groceries," she explained.

"So for them to have to make a choice to cross the picket line to get food for their family or to support those in their community, it’s a very difficult decision and it puts a lot of people in an uncomfortable place that they really shouldn’t have to be in."

Denver Food Rescue is working to continue to provide people with access to groceries. The non-profit organization often teams up with other groups to offer public no cost grocery programs. They've also collaborated with Bondadosa, a group that offers affordable grocery delivery service with no minimum order requirements, delivery fees, or membership fees. According to their website, they're one of only five grocery delivery services in the nation to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits as a payment method.  

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