Reflections on the issues facing a contemporary ministry in an urban
small-membership church that is socially conscious as well as salvation cognizant.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
When Profit-Motive Meets Poverty
Contemporary portraits of poverty are usually painted with wide brushstrokes of individual responsibility, educational failure, moral deficiencies and even race or cultural factors. Always in the shadows but seldom mentioned in poverty discussions is the role or impact of corporate policy and the business decisions which often exacerbate the plight of the poor and vulnerable.
The Kroger Co., with annual revenues of $76 billion and a history of closing grocery stores in low income or “less desirable” neighborhoods that don’t fit its high-end image, has announced that it will conclude the lease on its Toledo, Ohio store at 559 E. Manhattan on October 10, 2009. Yet new stores are planned or under construction for two suburban stores including an 80,000 sf. store in Waterville scheduled to open in 2010.
Terry Glazer, Chief Executive Officer of United North Development Corporation, who has been actively involved with the issue feels that the needs of the community and the effects on the neighborhood Kroger leaves behind are not something that has been sufficiently considered. “They are grossing two hundred thousand dollars a week and a million per month, making a profit and the building owners have given them favorable lease rates and offered to help with expansion. Kroger is abandoning the older neighborhoods and leaving behind a loyal customer base, many of whom don’t have transportation to get to other supermarkets.”
Male, Afra-feminist, Liberationist, Doctor of Ministry (DMin), Pastor/Social Activist of an urban, inner-city church offering a theological perspective on the day to day issues faced by a marginalized people.