New Aldi brings grocery options to south Augusta

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 10:05 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2022 at 6:30 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - There’s some good news for south Augusta – between a new grocery store and an upcoming farmers’ market, there will be more options for fresh produce.

A new Aldi grocery store opened on Peach Orchard Road near I-520.

Access to fresh produce and healthy foods has been scarce in that area. It’s an issue the community has been dealing with for years.

On opening day, they had people sitting in chairs, lined up waiting to get into the store. This is just one investment that families hope will start bringing more life to south Augusta.

Shoppers at the new Aldi in south Augusta are positive…

“I love it.”

Hopeful…

“I think it’s excellent.”

And thankful…

“I just thank God for it being in this community.”

It’s an investment some in the community have waited for to get better access to a basic necessity, food.

“It is more convenient for us. We usually have to go far out to go to a grocery store on Bobby Jones, but now that Aldi is in our neighborhood, I think this is the greatest thing they ever did,” said Dianne Henley, a shopper.

A USDA heat map of food deserts in the United States shows the vast majority of Richmond County does not have access to or the means of getting healthy food options.

Rebecca Van Loenen is the executive director of Augusta Locally Grown. She said, “South Augusta has been a big food desert area. It has been a long time coming, and it’s an affordable option for that area that is highly needed.”

A study by Duke University shows residents with a chronic lack of access to adequate food resources are shown to have higher rates of diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

“It is 100 percent moving us in the right direction to help eliminate these issues, these barriers,” she said.

Some shoppers hope this is just the beginning of something bigger being built in south Augusta.

Henley said: “I’m looking for this part of Augusta to expand with businesses and more people coming in.”

The shoppers told us they hope more businesses will hopefully follow Aldi and come to south Augusta. They hope this will potentially reduce crime in the long run and bring something positive to the area.