That’s obvious, but the fact seems to elude major grocery retailers, which build stores almost exclusively in white neighborhoods and areas with higher income levels.
That’s why Family Dollar and Dollar General combined sold $10 million more in groceries than Whole Foods in 2018, according to new data from the community development nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
Dollar stores are “rapidly expanding by targeting the poor, particularly in predominantly black neighborhoods and rural areas, while planning for a permanent American underclass,” Newsweek reports.
Fewer than 1 percent of dollar stores offer fresh produce, the magazine reports: “Selection is limited to processed or canned foods such as cereals, microwaveable meals and snacks. A section on the Dollar General website for ‘Fresh Food’ advertises Banquet Mega Bowls fried chicken, frozen pizzas, Lunchables, Hot Pockets, blocks of cream cheese and pumpkins.”
Northern Oak Cliff could get a Central Market in the near future, and we’ve heard rumors of other high-end grocers staking out our neighborhood. But there are solid food deserts south of Illinois and east of Interstate 35.
As Feed Oak Cliff’s Anga Sanders told the Advocate in December, “They believe it is a high-crime, high-thug, low-income neighborhood. And that’s not where I live. It’s their erroneous perceptions about Oak Cliff.”