Read Noel's July 9th Letter to the Editor online HERE
To the editor:
Ham Lake is experiencing a crisis, we are a food desert, meaning that it is difficult to buy affordable, good quality food due to a lack of grocery store options. Far too many families are struggling to access fresh, healthy, affordable options.
Part of this crisis is due to the fact that many grocery store chains require a majority of households to have an income of $75,000 or more, a requirement that Ham Lake fails to meet. We need a county commissioner who is willing and able to leverage relationships and engage stakeholders to fix this problem not only in Ham Lake, but in all of Anoka County Commission District 2.
I miss the days when Soderquists provided affordable and healthy options for our community. I not only shopped there but also volunteered as Santa Claus during the holidays. A grocery store also provides a sense of community — where we work, socialize, and shop for our families.
Currently, the only places to purchase groceries are at expensive gas stations. It’s hard enough to cook a meal for your family without having to travel extra miles to shop. We are receiving a Dollar General, and as wonderful as it is that they will provide much-needed jobs for our district, they fail to offer fresh produce and meat.
Having a grocery store in Ham Lake is about improving our quality of life, providing jobs and inspiring economic development. With proper planning and thinking carefully about long-term outcomes, we can build Ham Lake and the rest of Anoka County District 2. Issues like this are what inspired me to run for Anoka County commissioner. Together we can plan for the future and our families will prosper.