Life in the food desert

When I was in the newspaper business, I once wrote about the challenges full-service grocery stores face in small towns (usually defined 2,000 or fewer population). One premise of the article was that a grocery store is a community cornerstone, much like a school.

In an article for the April 2015 edition Illinois Issues, a public policy magazine based at the University of Illinois Springfield, I expanded on my newspaper piece, taking a broader perspective across Illinois. Widening the scope brought similar themes.

There are some small town groceries that have found a niche, like the Windsor Food Center down the road from me. Others are struggling to stay open. And, increasingly, more smaller communities are learning to do without having convenient access to fresh fruit, vegetables and meat.

If you would like to read more on this issue, the Illinois Issues piece is linked below.

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