Sioux Falls mayoral candidates react to Hy Vee store closing

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Hundreds of people have signed an online petition calling on Sioux Falls city leaders to place more focus on food insecurity in light of Hy Vee’s announcement that it will close its store at 10th and Kiwanis on January first.

The petition, called “Save 10th & Kiwanis Hy-Vee” has also caught the attention of the people running for mayor of Sioux Falls.

Mayor Paul TenHaken was in contact with Hy-Vee officials before the company announced the closing of the 10th and Kiwanis store. TenHaken says it’s a business decision that will be a blow to families in need of affordable and accessible food. But he says it’s possible another company could step in and fill the void.

“I see a pretty big market opportunity there, not necessarily for a mega-grocer, but I think when you look at an Andy’s, or Franklin Food Mart, a Sunshine Food, some of these more boutique kind of grocers,” TenHaken said.

Mayoral candidate Taneeza Islam held a Zoom call with Hy-Vee on Thursday, but says she wasn’t satisfied with the answers the company gave for closing the store.

“No, I’m not satisfied, because it’s about the bottom line for them. It’s apparently a store that wasn’t making the money it needed to make to not close,” Islam said.

Islam says she was encouraged that Hy-Vee is willing to continue a conversation with her about meeting the food needs of struggling families in the community. Islam and another mayoral candidate, David Zokaites, plan to sign the online petition calling for Hy-Vee to leave its doors open.

“I think it shows that people care about what’s going on in their city and they want to change things. People really do care about what’s going on in Sioux Falls and that’s great to see,” Zokaites said.

But while the petition may not sway Hy-Vee’s decision to close the store, the candidates say it sends an important message to city leaders about the importance of having a grocery store in the neighborhood.

Islam says she plans to make food insecurity an issue in the campaign ahead of the city elections in April.

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