I am writing to add my name to the list of alarmed Cleveland Park Safeway patrons. The decision to close the store at 3427 Connecticut Ave. {District Weekly, Sept. 10} will inconvenience me greatly, but that is the least of my concerns.

The same closing that poses a mere inconvenience to me poses a serious threat to the older residents of my neighborhood. For many of them, their proximity to the supermarket means the difference between independence or not -- or more vital, between eating or not. Faced with the prospect of a 20-minute-longer walk, many older residents will postpone their shopping and cooking and slip quietly into malnutrition. The plight of the so-called Soviet Safeway is not just another story of a company's desertion of the District. It is a story of a significant threat to the welfare of Cleveland Park's elderly.

Many have spoken of Safeway's "corporate responsibility." But what about the far more personal responsibility shared by members of a neighborhood? Safeway is a longtime member of the Cleveland Park community. As one neighbor to another, I plead: Safeway, please remain open beyond Oct. 17, at least until we can make arrangements for our older neighbors. SCOTT DALES Washington