ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — People in Albany’s South End are celebrating the progress of the South End grocery store. Local groups got together on Thursday to kick off weekly night markets and a farmer’s market in collaboration with A Village.

The South End has long been a food desert, which makes it hard for people who live there to find fresh produce and healthy foods. The site of the former McDonald’s on South Pearl Street has slowly transformed from a sit down restaurant to a grocery space.

“We’re here to build community, collectively work together to bring together our resources to make sure that we bridge the gap and uplift the community,” A Village Ink Exec. Dir. Eva Bass said.

The South End grocery store is slated for a December 26 grand opening.