Grocery closings leave rural residents few options - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Grocery closings leave rural residents few options

TURKEY, Texas (AP) -- Experts say grocery stores are closing in rural areas across the U.S., forcing many residents to drive long distances to get food and sapping communities of their vitality and sales tax revenue.

Lois Wright Morton studies rural communities at Iowa State University. She says one reason local markets fail is that many residents prefer to drive to larger cities with a Walmart or other large store that offers lower prices and a larger inventory.

But closings create hardships for elderly and poor residents who can't make the drive.

To address the problem, the federal government plans to spend $400 million a year to bring groceries to urban and rural areas without them. The goal is to wipe out so-called food deserts within seven years.

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