On May 29, 2019, a delegation from the Campaign for Healthier Solutions’ non-toxic greenback stores undertaking attended the annual Dollar General shareholder meeting in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. We had been there to insist that Dollar General phase out poisonous chemical substances from its client merchandise and supply regionally grown, fresh produce to defend the fitness of their purchasers, people, and frontline groups. With more than 15,000 shops, Dollar General is the largest retail chain in the United States, and more than 75 percent of human beings in this country stay within five miles of a store.
NRDC works in the Campaign for Healthier Solutions, a task of the Environmental Justice Health Alliance and Coming Clean, to provide legal and technical help that allows the campaign’s frontline professionals to pursue community-pushed solutions to advance a healthful, sustainable, and simple meal device—inclusive of getting regionally and sustainably-grown produce into greenback shops across the USA.
This work is crucial. We realize one in 8 human beings in this world stays in a food-insecure household, which means that a lack of regular gets entry to enough food for an energetic, healthy lifestyle. Rates of meal insecurity are maximum for some of the leading susceptible segments of the populace, including families with incomes near or beneath the federal poverty line, all houses with kids and mainly those headed by an unmarried mum or dad, and Black Latino-headed households. Further, people residing in food-insecure homes disproportionately suffer from loss plan-touchy continual diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. This is especially devastating for the more than 12 million kids represented through the data because insufficient healthful food could have critical implications for future physical and mental fitness. Many identical folks serve us through their paintings within the meal device while bearing the disproportionate burdens of its inequities.
And these cumulative burdens aren’t limited to weight loss program-precise conditions. A recent report from Coming Clean and EJHA that studied nine environmental justice communities discovered the top vulnerable neighborhoods – low-earning and low entry to healthy foods – have higher cancers and breathing situations from nearby facilities emitting toxic air pollutants.
The connection to dollar shops is clear. Many chains function in food-deprived regions, like rural and low-income groups of color, and nearly half of the greenback save income comes from clients on public help. Approximately forty percent of dollar shop sales are of meals – most of that is highly processed with low nutritional value and creates additional worries for poisonous chemicals in meal packaging.
Dollar General these days introduced that it will be selling fresh produce in 450 of its shops, to reach 5,000 stores subsequently. However, initiatives to deal with disparities in healthful food access must meaningfully contain community participants, ensure culturally appropriate options, and grow local strength and wealth in our food device. Only by bringing the network to the table and investing in the neighborhood economy can we progress in getting families the clean food they want and can find the money for.
To that end, the Campaign for Healthier Solutions has requested Dollar General to increase its clean produce initiative to source neighborhoods. These sustainably grown foods maintain wealth inside the community, starting with a 4-keep pilot undertaking in the South Valley of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The South Valley is the bottom of operations for the Agri-Cultura Network. This farmer-owned cooperative works to get admission to local and sustainably grown produce and spur nearby financial improvement. Agri-Cultura Network and its network of more than 30 farms use traditional and modern agricultural practices to improve environmental and community stewardship and fortify the agricultural and cultural history of their land and its residents.