Rural America and Food Deserts

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6,770
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New England
When they show up in your town especially low population you know it has hit bottom. I cringe stepping foot into them but in some towns all you have.
 
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17,298
Location
OH
Rural America has been reshaped by a declining, aging and poorer population. DG and their ilk are merely a symptom of this decline. DG at least offers canned vegetables and their prices are generally pretty reasonable. DG will also locate stores in urban ghettos where others have closed shop and bolted. There is a DG near where I work and aside from the endemic boosting they also have fairly frequent armed robberies. The company accepts this as a cost of doing business, which is more than you can say for Kroger, which closed shop right up the road more than a decade ago and also more than you can say for Walmart, which shows no interest in serving poor urban neighborhoods. It's also well and good to say that most of us can drive a few miles to a nice hypermart, but those who lack cars or can't afford to put much fuel in them don't benefit from this. We have a poverty problem in our country, not a retailing one and it's causes are manifold and aren't simply a matter of people not being willing to work for a living. I am very grateful to enjoy prosperity, but there are many who'd be grateful simply not to have to endure poverty. This is as much a problem of opportunity as it is one of lack of ambition or willingness to work, since the rural poor zones and the urban ghettos have few businesses with jobs on offer, unless someone embarks on a career in trafficking that inevitably leads to state time.
 
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CenTX
I've seen more and more DGs and Aldis popup than anything. I for one like Aldi over most. I dont think I've ever had a bad experience there
 
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10,991
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Cincinnati, OH, USA
Originally Posted by GumbyJarvis
I've seen more and more DGs and Aldis popup than anything. I for one like Aldi over most. I dont think I've ever had a bad experience there
Aldi takes a page out of Kroger's playbook, though-we've had a few close & relocate to better neighborhoods (Avondale, North College Hill [Galbraith Rd.], even Delhi & Dent) to cut down on the "shrinkage" problem.
 
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6,093
Location
northern Alabama
Originally Posted by Fawteen
I'd venture to guess that a lot of affluent suburbs and bedroom communities qualify for being more than a mile from a grocery store. And rural areas just 10 miles? Growing up I lived in a rural area and we were 18 miles from town and were most definitely not a "food dessert". Folks in "rural" areas normally just make a weekly trip into town to run errands. Personally, I prefer being almost three miles from the nearest grocery store and further away from the hustle and bustle. It takes all of 5 minutes to drive to the nearest store, and I could bike it in 15 if I pedaled slowly.
This. And if you work in town (like I do unfortunately), then pretty easy to just stop by on the way home & not even make that 1 trip to town per week.
 

Quattro Pete

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Great Lakes
Originally Posted by benjamming
Originally Posted by Fawteen
I'd venture to guess that a lot of affluent suburbs and bedroom communities qualify for being more than a mile from a grocery store. And rural areas just 10 miles? Growing up I lived in a rural area and we were 18 miles from town and were most definitely not a "food dessert". Folks in "rural" areas normally just make a weekly trip into town to run errands. Personally, I prefer being almost three miles from the nearest grocery store and further away from the hustle and bustle. It takes all of 5 minutes to drive to the nearest store, and I could bike it in 15 if I pedaled slowly.
This. And if you work in town (like I do unfortunately), then pretty easy to just stop by on the way home & not even make that 1 trip to town per week.
Yup. This was covered in the article I linked to.
 
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9,607
Location
Virginia
Ahh it is actually not a bad thing... I see Dollar general stores in places where they are NEEDED... Places like off Rte 10 in Surry county... Where there is nothing around... Or in New Kent county off Rte 249... In the middle of no where... It is a fine place for a Dollar General store. Nice middle income homes nearby... And some lower homes too... A mix of both. A Dollar General in Norge off Rte 60.... Makes sense to me... And guess what?? Actually va very nice town home area right behind the store... I mean very nice town home area... Heck I would like to live back there because it is really well done. A Dollar General off Rte 17 in my hometown county of Gloucester... Perfect placement... It makes sense where it is located... Another Dollar General off Rte 33 in King and Queen county made sense to me has well... A place where people need a place to get things... And I go to Dollar General myself... The stores have good products... At very reasonable prices. My hair shampoo is 3 dollars... Oil like Valvoline Maxlife for $3.49 a at on sale... Shave gel that is $2.50.. or Tide pods on sale for $3... I like Dollar General... And I am glad to see that they have good products that are well priced. And I am glad they are in out of the way places. People out there can get some good stuff at decent prices. I do like other stores has well... Like Watts grocery in King and Queen county off Rte 360... I go there and find some good steaks, fresh chicken and it is the only store I can get my Soul Seasoning made by Sauers...
 
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544
Location
SE Alabama
Originally Posted by fdcg27
It's also well and good to say that most of us can drive a few miles to a nice hypermart, but those who lack cars or can't afford to put much fuel in them don't benefit from this. We have a poverty problem in our country, not a retailing one and it's causes are manifold and aren't simply a matter of people not being willing to work for a living. I am very grateful to enjoy prosperity, but there are many who'd be grateful simply not to have to endure poverty. This is as much a problem of opportunity as it is one of lack of ambition or willingness to work, since the rural poor zones and the urban ghettos have few businesses with jobs on offer, unless someone embarks on a career in trafficking that inevitably leads to state time.
I have to disagree. We have an ambition problem in this country, but there is ample opportunity for anyone if they choose to take it. No one forces people to live where they do-time and time again people have pulled themselves out of poverty through their ambition and drive. Other people make the choice to continue to do nothing, or work the same minimum wage job, live in perpetual poverty, and hope that someone somewhere hands them more. People make poor financial or life choices early on (such as using dope or booze) and now pay the consequences for their choice. People aren't defined by their circumstances-those can be changed. They're defined by the choices they make to change those circumstances. Too many people choose not to change those circumstances.
 

Win

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4,705
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Arkansas
I dunno. Dollar General is, in fact, expanding rapidly around here, but not in a predatory manner the way Wal Mart did in its early days. Wal Mart also made a lot of ordinary people very, very, wealthy in its early days - a fact rarely mentioned. The idea of DG putting a real supermarket out of business seems daft to me, and a cherry picked example from middle of nowhere Kansas doesn't do much to persuade me that it is happening, other than in isolated instances, DG is just a big C Store without the gas - they're more likely to put a hit on that type of retailer. They built one a few miles from our second house at the lake, and I stop in there if I need one or two things - otherwise I just go the ten or so miles into town. In the summer, the local gardeners set up stands in an empty lot across the street from the new DG and the variety of local home grown produce is plentiful - a lot better than you get at supermarkets. This food desert stuff was likely conceived by city people, who have never lived anywhere but in or around a big city, and don't know as much as they think they do about folks who live elsewhere.
Quote
Rural America has been reshaped by ....
Change the remainder of the sentence to illegals, and it would be more accurate in my opinion, at least around here. .
 
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5,762
Location
Da Swamp
Originally Posted by CourierDriver
Originally Posted by CT8
The people shopping in the low end stores aren't health conscience to begin with.
I have noticed that in Save a lot stores.....
Save-a-Lot near me used to be pretty good. You can get healthy food there; they have produce, meat, and a certain amount of vegetables, and often for less $$ than WM. I stopped going to the one closest to me (after years of patronizing them) because they cut out honey, the good brand of pickles, and the cheap but effective cat litter they carried -- and the attitude of the employees was morphing into "What you doin' in here?"
 

Quattro Pete

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Great Lakes
Originally Posted by Win
This food desert stuff was likely conceived by city people, who have never lived anywhere but in or around a big city, and don't know as much as they think they do about folks who live elsewhere.
There is no doubt that the so called "food deserts," as currently defined, have always existed. Stores like DG didn't invent them. I think the point of the article is that certain business practices are turning some areas into food deserts, areas that previously weren't. How widespread of a phenomenon this is, I do not know. And even if it's widespread, what is the actual impact on nutrition?
 
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3,897
Location
Canada
Originally Posted by Quattro Pete
[quote=Win]And even if it's widespread, what is the actual impact on nutrition?
With the staggering number of obese and type 2 diabetics (and other related illnesses) I think the answer is rather obvious. DG (and similar stores) are not helping the problem, only contributing to it. The main problem is the lack of nutrition education in today's society. The value of REAL foods have long been forgotten. Instead we have things designed to set us up for failure when we try to lose weight and become healthy (i.e. diet pills, slim fast shakes etc). These are all temp fixes with a multitude of side effects which many are not aware of or are willing to accept out of desperation. When was the last time you saw an advertisement for carrots, broccoli or the many health benefits of bone broth?
 

Quattro Pete

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40,993
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Great Lakes
Originally Posted by Lolvoguy
Originally Posted by Quattro Pete
And even if it's widespread, what is the actual impact on nutrition?
With the staggering number of obese and type 2 diabetics (and other related illnesses) I think the answer is rather obvious.
Is it? People often buy unhealthy food because they can't afford or don't want to pay more for healthy stuff, and they'll do it regardless if they shop at DG or another store that does have healthy options available. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. Quote from the main article:
Quote
But it is not that straightforward. Megan Rinehart worked at Nech's Foodliner for six years. "This isn't a rich town. A lot of our customers bought not healthy stuff. They leaned towards what was fast and cheap. We had a pretty good selection of fresh produce. It was a matter of if they could afford it," she said.
 
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17,937
Location
...
Originally Posted by Lolvoguy
Originally Posted by Quattro Pete
[quote=Win]And even if it's widespread, what is the actual impact on nutrition?
With the staggering number of obese and type 2 diabetics (and other related illnesses) I think the answer is rather obvious. DG (and similar stores) are not helping the problem, only contributing to it. The main problem is the lack of nutrition education in today's society. The value of REAL foods have long been forgotten. Instead we have things designed to set us up for failure when we try to lose weight and become healthy (i.e. diet pills, slim fast shakes etc). These are all temp fixes with a multitude of side effects which many are not aware of or are willing to accept out of desperation. When was the last time you saw an advertisement for carrots, broccoli or the many health benefits of bone broth?
The education is out there and the younger generation is learning healthier eating habits. But the biggest question is, who determines what you eat? Do we want to go down that dark road ? You vil eat what we tell you to eat or else.
 
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3,897
Location
Canada
Originally Posted by Quattro Pete
Originally Posted by Lolvoguy
Originally Posted by Quattro Pete
And even if it's widespread, what is the actual impact on nutrition?
With the staggering number of obese and type 2 diabetics (and other related illnesses) I think the answer is rather obvious.
Is it? People often buy unhealthy food because they can't afford or don't want to pay more for healthy stuff, and they'll do it regardless if they shop at DG or another store that does have healthy options available. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. Quote from the main article:
Quote
But it is not that straightforward. Megan Rinehart worked at Nech's Foodliner for six years. "This isn't a rich town. A lot of our customers bought not healthy stuff. They leaned towards what was fast and cheap. We had a pretty good selection of fresh produce. It was a matter of if they could afford it," she said.
good point
 
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