Wal-Mart’s shutdown creates new food deserts

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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.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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