Photo: Chris Poliquin / The Daily Pennsylvanian
Last night dozens of Penn students put their time where their hashtags were and stood in solidarity with the #SavePennFroGo campaign by attending a candlelight vigil within the store. Although neither the official Fresh Grocer twitter nor this fun and flirty twitter account specifically for the 40th Street Fro Gro have leveraged the hashtag to raise awareness over the supermarket’s leasing issues, one can hardly take a step on campus without feeling the grief that permeates the air over the store’s impending closing.
Student leaders on campus joined forces to organize the vigil in a last ditch effort to get the University to relent on its aggressive litigation against Fro Gro. One such leader, Muhammad Khan (C ’18), told us that his decision to set up the event was heavily influenced by the Fossil Free Penn sit ins from earlier in the month.
“It was really cool that the University was so inspired by those students’ commitment to the cause that they wanted the autographs of all of the protestors, so I thought that holding a vigil for Fresh Grocer would be the most powerful way getting Penn to stop taking part in more questionable business practices!”
Attendees of the event took turns tearfully recounting their favorite memories at the Fresh Grocer while enjoying the wide variety of cold foods Fro Gro offers its customers. In between bites of a hoagie and quiet sobbing, Michelle Gordon (W'17) spoke about how empowering it was to be able to "show up at 2am totally smashed and buy 3 boxes of Oreos and a 2-liter Coke" and how "it's going to be a tough process acclimating myself to the snack aisle of a new store."
While the University hasn't issued an official response to the candlelit vigil just yet, it has hinted at plans to open a new Starbucks on campus equipped with a sushi bar, a guacamole station, a wine and beer store, and a supermarket.