LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A national initiative to provide healthier food options in Dollar General stores has come to Little Rock.
City leaders said that the goal is to provide fresh fruits and vegetables in areas considered to be food deserts.
"This is not the solution to everything but it's a part of the solution," City Director Doris Wright said.
Wright said that having a Dollar General store that sells produce in Ward 6 will be a big help.
"The 36 and Barrow Road location for the Dollar General fresh vegetables and produce will help the families that live around that store because I have a lot of foot traffic through there. So this is very exciting," she explained.
Wright said that the Dollar General is the closest grocery option to the Kroger on Colonel Glenn that's set to close on August 13th.
She said that while it's unfortunate to see the Kroger close, the area is not considered a food desert since there is a Value Foods nearby.
"What we're building here is an infrastructure so that when one thing fails, there is a safety net to help out," she said.
Schawnee Hightower helped develop the plan to bring produce to areas that need it and said that it took about two years.
"It's tough, it's hard. A lot of companies don't come because it doesn't make sense. It doesn't make money. Due to corporate courage, Dollar General, They're bringing this into the green," Hightower said.
Hightower grew up on the 12th Street Corridor in Little Rock and said that the area has changed a lot over the years.
"When I grew up, literally, there was several grocery stores right there in our community that I lived in had and offered everything you need," he said.
Nowadays, he said there aren't as many options, so he knows people will benefit from the produce at Dollar General.
"This is a start, that this is something that we really did from a passionate love to really help the community," he said.
The ten stores selling produce will have a "Customer Appreciation Day" this Saturday, August 6, 2022, where they will give out gift cards and free samples.
A map of the 10 participating Dollar General stores can be viewed below.