West Oakland v.s Liquor Stores

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By JameelWest Oakland Bart

I took a ethnics class recently at my school and 1 presentation touched me. It discussed how many liquor stores are in West Oakland. Before I was not aware there were no grocery stores. And the number was alarming for me. There were 53 liquor stores with 0 grocery stores. But in 2009 Mandela Foods Cooperative made a change when they opened its doors. Mandela Foods is the only full- service grocery store to serve West Oakland’s 25,000 residents. They arent a huge company and mainly run on donations and spending profits back into the community. Therefore they cant feed this entire part of the city.

But there is hope for the future as big time real estate investor Tom Henderson is trying to change the food market in West Oakland. The Spot Henderson plans on building is a key place in the community, here a lot of people come to get McDonalds and do laundry. A problem that may have held back other investors was that the poverty rate is double California’s rate, and unemployment is almost twice that of the national average according to mendelamarketplace.org. Maybe companies don’t wanna build in West Oakland because they fear not a big enough profit margin. Either way that is not a excuse to neglect a community. I hate how healthy food is expensive and put in the white neighborhoods vs sugar filled liquor stores in the black areas. I live in East Oakland I feel at any time I can go and get some healthy food but in West Oakland there are no easy access healthy food stores. This is unfair and purposely done to keep the black youth unhealthy and dumb.


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