After the closure of the Meeting Street Bi-Lo, Charleston was left with only two grocery stores to service the entire peninsula population. The grocery store, formerly a Piggly Wiggly, had been a staple for the Eastside community for years. With its shuttering many neighbors wondered where they would go for affordable household staples. The city and bus system CARTA stepped in to provide a shuttle between the Eastside and the upper peninsula Food Lion with the King Street Route 20. The program was only planned to last until the end of 2016 however.
With 2017 nearing, Charleston Grill general manager Mickey Bakst, also of non-profit Feed the Need, announced that private funding will help keep the program going — but he needs your help. Feed the Need, Belmond Place Charleston, Peninsula Company, the East Bay Company, McAlister Development Company, and Blackbaud have contributed to six months of service, so they need more organizations to follow suit. The cost is $7,500 a month.
“When you look at how Charleston is changing, how its long-time residents are being impacted, I think it is incumbent upon leaders in the business community to step in and help,” said Bakst. “Food is important to our city’s identity and it’s a core essential for everyone. We have to make sure that all residents have access to groceries. It’s the right thing to do.”
For those looking to get involved, checks should be made to Meet the Needs Charleston – a 501 (c)(3) that will transfer the funds to CARTA. The address is 275 Beech Hill Lane, Mount Pleasant 29464.