Vinton County has grocery store after four years without one

Vinton County has a grocery store for the first time in four years. (WSYX/WTTE)

Vinton County has a grocery store for the first time in four years, it's a rural area that was known as a food desert for years. The county has a low population, which is one reason why state leaders said there hasn't been a grocery store in the area for so long. Residents said they had to drive about 40 minutes to get to the closest grocery store.

The long commute for food is finally over, Campbell's Market opened up in McArthur about one month ago, the grand opening took place earlier this week.

Getting the store up and running had a lot to do with help from community leaders. The state stepped in to help close a gap of financing that was needed to finish the project. State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) joined State Representative Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) and area leaders for the grand opening of Campbell's Market. Prior to the opening of Campbell's Market, state leaders said Vinton County was the only county in Ohio that did not have a grocery store.

"It just did not seem right to have a food desert in such a prosperous and bountiful place like Ohio," said Senator Peterson. "I am honored to be a part of today's grand opening, and I now look forward to watching how the growth of local resources and new job opportunities improve the quality of life for area residents."

Senator Peterson said the money to help close the financial gap on the project came from low interest loans that won't be a cost to taxpayers.

"This was kind of unique, it's a food desert in rural Ohio, which typically doesn't exist, in fact it only exists in Vinton County. Healthy foods initiative created a state funding mechanism to deal with some of these food deserts in rural Ohio and in urban areas, " said Senator Peterson.

Campbell's Market isn't just helping put food into homes, it's also putting checks into a lot of hands.

"We created about 35 jobs in the county, I think just 12 or 13 full-time jobs, including myself, " said Garry Saunders who is the Store Manager for Campbell's Market in Vinton County.

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