As Rural Groceries Fade Away, Lawmakers Wonder Whether to Act
Some states are trying to tackle their rural grocery gaps. Supporters of such efforts point to tax incentives and subsidies at various levels of government that have enabled superstores to service larger areas and squeeze out local independent grocers. Now, dollar stores are opening in rural regions and offering items at lower prices, posing direct competition to local groceries. Critics see that development as a threat to public health, since dollar stores typically lack quality meat and fresh produce. But every town and every store is different, making statewide solutions elusive. Some legislators say they are reluctant to intervene too heavily because the market should close the gaps. Read more.