Winn-Dixie store's anticipated closure upsets seniors living across street

Madison Manor residents say they rely on Beach Boulevard grocery store

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An announcement about closing a Winn-Dixie on Jacksonville's Southside has upset a group of senior citizens who live in a housing complex across the street. 

Hundreds of people who reside at the Madison Manor senior facility said the grocery store on Beach Boulevard is the only store they can get to.

Most of the residents don't have cars, and they said the grocery store is vital to them because it's close enough for them to walk or use their motorized wheelchairs to get there. 

"There's 80 percent of these people here who don't have a car. Where are they going to shop? Where are they going to get their drugs for their prescriptions?" Russ Holgerson told News4Jax on Friday.

Some residents said they are so outraged by the anticipated closure of the Winn-Dixie that they have begun a petition to keep it open. 

"I don't know what we're going to do. I worry about the people that don't have anyone, and we don't have the money to pay for a cab. We're all, as you know, on a fixed income. I just wish that Winn-Dixie would understand that we need them," Wanda Bradley said.

Residents said they were told by Winn-Dixie employees that the Store 72 on Beach Boulevard would be closing in June. 

Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Winn-Dixie, issued a statement, saying, "We're going through a number of changes to certain roles and responsibilities in our stores."

When the store closes, the next closest grocery store will be several miles away from Madison Manor, which means many residents will have to rely on taxis or Ubers to get there if they don't have family members who can drive them.

"Can you imagine if I had to walk to Walmart to get groceries? I'd pass out on the sidewalk," Lillie James said.

Now, the seniors are hoping city leaders can step in and do something. 

"I'm just wondering if there is something the city can do to help Winn-Dixie stay open, because it's very vital to us," James said. 

Residents told News4Jax that there used to be a bus stop in front of the complex, but it was removed. 

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