FAIRFIELD, Ala. (AP) – An Associated Press analysis shows that the closing of more than 150 Wal-Mart stores nationwide will create three food deserts in Alabama, Kansas and Arkansas.
Stores slated to shut down Thursday will leave residents in parts of Fairfield, Alabama; Coal Hill, Arkansas; and Wichita, Kansas, without a supermarket.
The federal government considers a neighborhood a food desert if at least a fifth of residents live in poverty and a third live more than a mile from a supermarket in urban areas, or more than 10 miles in rural areas.
Another 31 neighborhoods in 15 states will also lack access to grocery stores after Wal-Mart’s closures. But those aren’t as impoverished.
Wal-Mart says it has a good track record in needy neighborhoods and is offering help to the communities it’s leaving.