It’s Urgent

June 6th, 2019

It’s Urgent

(BISMARCK, ND) – If you live in a rural community, you know that the grocery store is more than just a food retailer. It is an economic driver, a meeting place, the heart of your community. Without the grocery store, accessing healthy food can turn into a road trip. For elderly folks and others who lack transportation, this is not viable. Their only option is to shop at convenience stores with higher prices and a limited selection or wait, sometimes weeks without a visit to the grocery store.

The food “deserts” in North Dakota led Senator Jim Dotzenrod (D-Wyndmere) to introduce a study of the transportation and distribution of food throughout the state. Legislators will look at this during the interim; but – unfortunately – since the House initially heard his resolution in March, five more of the remaining 104 rural grocery stores have closed or indicated their intention to close.

“Having a stable grocery store helps attract new residents to a town, especially if you have a large family to feed. However, these stores struggle with competition from chain stores as well as a shrinking customer base,” said Alison Jones, Communication Director for the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party. “Hopefully the study introduced by Senator Dotzenrod will provide valuable insight into how North Dakota can address this issue.”