Walgreens Rep to Tell Locals What's Next at Key Food Site

By Leslie Albrecht on June 13, 2012 2:16pm 

The Key Food on Prospect Avenue and 11th Avenue in Windsor Terrace is closing June 30.
The Key Food on Prospect Avenue and 11th Avenue in Windsor Terrace is closing June 30.
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DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht

WINDSOR TERRACE — With the neighborhood's only supermarket closing in just over two weeks, residents can find out more about what's next for food shoppers at a community meeting on Thursday night.

Windsor Terrace's only full-service supermarket, the Key Food at 589 Prospect Ave. between 11th and 10th avenues, is closing June 30 and will be replaced by an outpost of the national drugstore chain Walgreens.

The loss of the longtime supermarket has locals, especially seniors, scrambling for new food shopping options.

"It's a neighborhood that has a little more than normal population of elderly people," said Ann Schaetzel, legislative aide to State Assemblyman James F. Brennan. "It's going to leave them pretty high and dry, so there's a lot of concern that Walgreens does something about providing fresh food options to bridge the gap."

A Walgreens district manager is scheduled to attend the Thursday meeting, as well as City Councilman Brad Lander, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and members of Windsor Terrace's Community Board 7.

Neighbors also have questions about what will happen to the roughly 50 Key Food employees, many of whom live in Windsor Terrace, said Windsor Terrace Alliance chair and co-founder Lauren Elvers Collins. People are also wondering if the new store will be a Walgreens, or a Duane Reade, because Walgreens purchased the Duane Reade chain in 2010.

Walgreens did not respond immediately to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Both Lander and Markowitz have said they'll ask Walgreens to carry a selection of fresh fruit, vegetables and other refrigerator essentials at the store. A similar arrangement was made in Bay Ridge when a Walgreens replaced a Key Food, according to Markowitz. Walgreens has offered fresh products at some of its Manhattan stores since 2010.

"We hope a lot of the community will be there to explain what they need," said Schaetzel. "It's very difficult for older people who don't have cars to contemplate a feasible means of keeping their pantries full. It's very expensive to shop at little delis day in and day out."

Thursday night's community meeting on Walgreens replacing Key Food is at 7:30 p.m. at Shepherd's Hall at Holy Name Church, 245 Prospect Park West, at Prospect Avenue. For more information call Assemblyman Brennan's office at (718) 788-7221.

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