LAKE VIEW, SC (WBTW) When the old IGA closed in Lake View people had to drive quite a ways for groceries.
“My hometown is Lake View I love Lake View,” Matthew Elvington said.
He says it’s the place that raised him and a place he knew he could help. Matthew started a project known as Market on Main, bringing fresh groceries back to the town.
“It’s always a great feeling to be that blessing to someone for them to not have to go the extra mile to get the things they need,” Elvington said.
“Lake View is a pretty small town, tight knit, we know everybody here,” Elvington said. “It’s nice to meet and greet everybody every day and kind of have that fellowship with them.”
Matthew’s mom actually helped him get the project started. She cashed out her 401-k and bought the property, giving him the ability to move forward with the loan for the rest.
“Right after she passed away I didn’t drive by the store for at least the week after,” Elvington said. “I guess it gave me extra fire after I decided that hey she wanted this, hey she put more into it than I could then that really drove me to go ahead and finish it and really pushed me to open up even earlier than I thought.”
Market on Main just celebrated one year. It’s a success story from a man who said he never thought he’d be in the grocery business.
“My background is in engineering so that’s where I thought I would head,” Elvington said.
The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation also helped out with this project. They say more than 16 percent of South Carolinians live in “food deserts” where fresh groceries are not as easily available. The national average is 10 percent.
They say they got involved with the project to provide health and economic benefits to rural SC communities by increasing access to healthy foods in underserved communities.
BlueCross BlueShield says studies show that having easier, practical affordable options for purchasing healthy food makes a positive impact on eating behaviors over time.
They say it can have a great health impact as well as an economic benefit by creating jobs and keeping local dollars in the local economy.
Market on Main just celebrated their one year anniversary.
Matthew says his family loves the town of Lake View. His wife is a school teacher at the elementary school and he was just elected the Mayor a few months ago.