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Cleveland City leaders want to talk with Giant Eagle about store closures

Rev. Jimmy Gates (center) talks in front of the Giant Eagle on Buckeye Road about the impact its closing will have on residents. He's surrounded by other members of the clergy and Cleveland City Council.

About a dozen clergy and Cleveland City Ccouncil members held a protest yesterday at a Giant Eagle grocery store that’s closing on the city’s eastside. It’s one of two stores in the city the company is shutting down. Opponents says the move leaves many residents without easy access to fresh food and other services. 

Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle announced the closings earlier this month. The Rev. Jimmy Gates, pastor of the Zion Hill Baptist Church and head of the Mt. Pleasant Ministerial Alliance, organized the protest on Buckeye Road. He says residents without cars and older people will be hardest hit by the closing. He says the store’s pharmacy has already closed.

“We’ve called the corporate offices in Pittsburgh and no one has answered  our calls, we’ve sent letters and no one has answered our letters. ... Hopefully, maybe now they will contact the alliance here and sit down and talk with us and the city of Cleveland and see if there are any concessions that can be made to save this store because it’s a vital part of the community.”

The company is also closing a nearby Get-Go gas station and a grocery store on Cleveland’s west side.