The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many problems and longstanding issues around the country. One of those problems is access to healthy food. According to the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, there is only one supermarket within a two-mile radius for 1,700 families living in low-income neighborhoods. As a solution, one mother-daughter duo took initiative and created a grocery store to serve the community.
Renee Trueheart and her daughter, Tyra Gallagher, decided to help out their community in Henrico County in Richmond, Virginia, by opening the Darrell’s Family Supermarket earlier this month. After other food options for locals closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gallagher, who works with patients on dialysis, has received much praise around how this kind of store is needed in the community.
“A lot of my patients struggle with being able to get the proper food they need,” said Gallagher in an interview with WRIC. “We’ve seen the disparities that Black and brown people face looking for clean, safe, and fresh produce in this area. That’s why we’re here.”
Gallagher says she is grateful for the community support she and her mother received throughout the difficulties of opening a business during a pandemic.
“We are shocked at all of the positive feedback we have received, praising us for what we are doing,” she said of the neighborhood response to VPM News. “We’ve even had people say they will drive all the way from Northern Virginia just to support.”