Marsh closures could create more food deserts in central Indiana

(WISH Photo)

TIPTON, Ind. (WISH) – More grocery store closings could be on the way.

On Tuesday, Marsh announced that all 44 remaining stores will permanently shut down if a buyer or partner is not found within the next 59 days.

If that happens, several areas in central Indiana would be left without a community grocery store, including Tipton. Marsh is the only full grocery store in Tipton. If it closes, the next closest store is more than 15 miles away.

“It is very important for us to have a grocery store in town,” said Tipton shopper Ron Barr. He said the location makes it easy for him to make quick and frequent trips. That soon could change if Marsh closes all of their remaining locations.

“Losing a community asset like that would be pretty detrimental to our community,” said Nathan Kring. Kring is the director of the Tipton County Economic Development Organization. He said there is a lot of positive growth in the county. A Marsh closure could have serious and long-lasting impacts.

“Besides the jobs — obviously that’s very important — but if you do not have a grocery store in your community, that’s one of the first signs of your community starting to die. It is one of the amenities that families look for,” said Kring.

Families would not be the only ones impacted.

“I found it upsetting because there are so many elderly in this community that walk,” said Jeanne Brackins.

Brackins owns Jean’s Flowers and Gifts in Tipton. She said her husband would often give people rides to Marsh as he was out doing deliveries. She said if this Marsh closes, the community is going to have to work together to make sure everyone has access to food.

“When something happens that is upsetting and drastic, and this is drastic for our community, we pull together,” said Brackins.

The store could close within the next two months. The economic development director there says the department has been in contact with some developers to see what options they would have if Marsh were to close. They said the goal would be to get a grocery store in its place.

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