Dollar Stores Aren’t the Answer To Alleviating Food Insecurity, So What Is?

  • Date: 10/15/2020

For many of the 13.5 million people in the U.S. with limited access to supermarkets or large grocery stores, dollar stores are one of the few places besides gas stations and convenience stores where they can buy food. Many dollar stores also accept Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), which is how states issue SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) food benefits.

It’s exactly because dollar stores are the primary food supplier for so many people in the U.S. that they’ve become the center of a complicated debate about the best ways to solve food insecurity, the state of having limited or inconsistent access to food. Critics have accused dollar stores of taking advantage of their customers by limiting access to healthy foods. But if dollar stores—with their power to be seemingly everywhere—aren’t the answer to alleviating food insecurity, what is?

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