Gastonia neighborhood remains in food desert - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Gastonia neighborhood remains in food desert

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GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

Poverty's pain can be felt in places often called food deserts.

We've told you about them before.

Food deserts are located in areas where people don't have access to major supermarkets that offer healthy fruits and vegetables.

In one Gastonia neighborhood, it's been a hardship for years.

A neighborhood fixture along York Street is the Deluxe Barber Shop.

It's been here for more than 50 years.

After passing through the front door, the first chair is serviced by Steve Gullate.

Like so many at this business, he's concerned about folks in the neighborhood having access to life's basics.

"Especially for older people, they have to catch the bus," Gullate said.

"I've seen people catch cabs and everything. I've seen with things being the way it is and money being tight. You see it's just hard on people these days."."

Fighting for the neighborhood near U.S. 321 is city council member Todd Pierceall, and he admits part of his district is in what can be described as food dessert.

Finding investors he says means developing a new strategy.

The councilman said, "Once you have the residents, the business, the housing , the retail, the grocery, that will follow."

Until then, far too many people must rely on public transportation to their shopping.

However, the Highland Neighborhood is in the beginning stages of a community garden, but even that can go far.

Back at the barbershop, Steve Gullate is among those who are still waiting.

"I've been cutting hair for over 20 years, and I've heard talk of them building a grocery store over the years, and yet I have yet to see anything done."

After checking with some taxi companies, we learned that getting to and from the store can cost as much as 15 dollars each way.

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