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After weathering a rough financial summer, Michael Monasmith has lost his job.
Monasmith, a Radcliff resident, is a full-time meat cutter at Food Lion on South Dixie Boulevard, which is one of 113 Food Lions across the nation shuttering its doors.
Delhaize America, parent company of Food Lion, announced last week it would close a number of underperforming stores, displacing roughly 4,900 workers. Kentucky-based Food Lions in Cynthiana, Danville, Dry Ridge, Morehead, Paris and Stanford also are closing, according to a list released by the company.
Christy Phillips-Brown, a spokeswoman for Food Lion, said all of the stores will be closed within 30 days. The average Food Lion employs 35 to 40 people.
Monasmith said he was “a little numb” when he received the news from a corporate Food Lion representative during a mandatory staff meeting at the Radcliff store last week. He said the store has halted deliveries and contacted outside vendors to pick up their remaining stock.
The store plans to reduce its prices in the final weeks of operation to clear merchandise, he added.
Monasmith said he is uncertain why the store was targeted for closure because it appeared to maintain steady business flow.
“(I’m) disappointed because I really liked the job and working with the people here,” he said.
The job also served as a symbol of stability in Monasmith’s life after a turbulent year in which his family lost its home in Green County.
“We spent most of the summer homeless,” he said.
They moved to Hardin County, where they found a home in Radcliff and Monasmith landed the Food Lion job. He has been working at the store about five months.
Monasmith said life appeared to be moving in the right direction until he learned the store was closing. Now his life is in flux once more as he re-enters the job market so he can provide for his family.
In a news release, Delhaize America said it would provide severance to eligible employees and work with governments to offer “transition support.” It also encouraged those who lose their jobs to apply for open positions in the company, but it is not offering transfers.
Monasmith said he has been offered a severance package equal to three week’s pay. The packages differ based on pay rates and time with the company, he said.
He hopes the friends he has made at the store can make a quick transition to new employment.
“There’s a lot of us there that have kids and families and I hope everyone over there is able to find something,” he said.
Radcliff Mayor J.J. Duvall said it was devastating to hear about the closure because people are losing jobs and the community is losing a grocery on the south end of town.
Duvall said the city contacted Food Lion representatives to see if it could assist in keeping the store in the city, but officials were informed the company was moving most of its operations out of Kentucky.
Duvall said the city will work with the property owner to court other stores in hopes of filling the space quickly.
Ron Hodge, CEO of Delhaize America, said the decision to close the stores was difficult but necessary.
“While these were difficult decisions given the impact on our associates, customers and communities, we believe these actions will enable us to better serve our customers in our markets with high density, while positioning the company for future growth,” he said.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or email@example.com.