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Grocery list! Walgreens opponents release list of demands • Brooklyn Paper

Grocery list! Walgreens opponents release list of demands

Margaret de Cruz wants a grocery store — not a Walgreens — to open in Windsor Terrace. She and more than 100 protesters rallied against the drugstore chain on Wednesday.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Windsor Terrace residents have released a list of demands for a Walgreens that’s set to replace the neighborhood’s only supermarket — and they say they’ll boycott the drugstore if it doesn’t meet their requirements.

At the top of the check-off list: 10,000 square feet dedicated to grocery store space — complete with organic and free range fare, “fresh-baked goods,” and departments for meat, dairy, and produce.

Neighbors say they penned the list after the pharmacy, which is replacing a Key Food at Prospect and 11th avenues, failed to be clear about what type of food it would offer and how much space it would dedicate to groceries.

“If Walgreens refuses to be specific about how they will meet our needs, the community will,” said Windsor Terrace resident Ryan Lynch.

Lynch and other neighbors held meetings, circulated e-mails and conducted research before drafting the list of demands — which comes after months of protests from residents who say replacing the supermarket with a drug store will create a “food desert” unless Walgreens provides a fresh fare, or adjusts its lease to make room for a grocer.

Their demands now outline neighbors’ definition of “a supermarket,” noting that a “wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables,” a section for household goods, and a deli department are essential.

Walgreens last week promised to sell some fruit, veggies, and frozen meat, but declined to cite specifics or note how much space will be dedicated to food — a guarantee that neighbors called “vague.”

A company spokesman wasn’t much more specific when The Brooklyn Paper forwarded him the list of demands and asked for comment on Thursday.

“We are currently considering various options to meet the community’s needs,” said spokesman Robert Elfinger. “We look forward to talking with community officials when we have more specifics in place.”

But neighbors say there’s still plenty more for the company to cross off the list if it wants support from the hundreds shoppers who plan to boycott the drug store unless Walgreens caves to their demands.

“We’ve requested more meetings with Walgreens,” Lynch said. “This list [isn’t] radical.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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