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Tipton County residents concerned closure of local Marsh would create food desert

TIPTON, Ind. - County residents and officials in Tipton are expressing concerns over the potential closing of a Marsh grocery store.

The store, located at 899 E. Jefferson Street in Tipton, is the county’s only full service grocery store, and its closure would create a food desert throughout the area.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do if we lose this store,” customer Maureen Kelly said.

Last week, Marsh announced the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company said the move will allow it to keep normal operations as it seeks a buyer for roughly 4 dozen stores.

If the Marsh in Tipton closes with no replacement, residents would have to travel to either Kokomo, Westfield or Noblesville to find another.

Tipton chamber of commerce president Kegan Schmicker says city and county officials are scrambling to find other solutions.

“Even if someone bought it today it still could be one month before they moved in, three months, six months, a year, we just don’t know it all depends on their plans. But there’s that transition period where somebody needs to step up and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do,” Schmicker said.

According to Schmicker, the local Marsh closing would harshly effect senior citizens in the county who rely on the convenience of having an in-town store.

Schmicker says a coalition of officials are mulling a plan for a grocery delivery service for those in need that could potentially “bridge the gap” until another store could be up and running.

“We’re focused on trying to find a solution and create a program that will intake their order for groceries, we order it for them and we pick it up and deliver it,” he said.