A move in the right direction

Published 5:58 pm Tuesday, February 9, 2016



The Town of Aurora and its residents are looking to the future in more ways than one. In some areas, the Richland Township is in survival mode, as it currently has limited access to fresh food.

The people of Aurora and Richland Township have come together in more ways than one to deal with the situation.

In recent weeks, a meeting was held at the Hazel W. Guilford Library, where members of civic organizations met to better coordinate events through a community calendar. The calendar concept will enable residents and organizations to support each other’s initiatives and programs and avoid double scheduling of events, which spreads the support of an already low-populated area.

A more pressing issue on the table for the area is the fact that the town lost its only grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, in April 2015. A huge blow to town residents’ ability to access fresh food, the loss of the grocery store has sparked a conversation about how the issue can be resolved.

Food closets run by churches in the area, a community garden project, which provides residents’ access to fresh produce in the spring, summer and early fall, and a mobile food pantry operated by Eagle’s Wings of Washington, have been the sole sources of food in the area other than that available at the town’s Dollar General and Family Dollar. However, neither of the stores have many options in the realm of fresh meat and produce.

On Monday night, a community-organized food committee met to identify assets the area possesses that could help to attract a grocery store chain. The committee discussed other ways to provide food sources to residents, as well. Thirty-one people, a record-breaking number for any kind of town meeting recently, attended the meeting, according to community organizer Eve Hemby.

Lately, the Aurora and Richland Township residents have started to come together to tackle issues the area faces. That’s exactly what it’s going to take to facilitate change, and in turn, success and prosperity. For the first time in a long time, according to residents and community organizers, people are realizing the severity of the issues and have responded to the call by banding together. It’s a move in the right direction, toward solutions.