Arkansas Kroger closures raises concerns for food deserts

Local News

ENGLAND, Ark. — With Kroger announcing closures in three cities across Arkansas, there are concerns about another city being a food desert. 

Kroger Delta Division announced they will be closing three more Arkansas stores due to poor performance over the last decade.

The three locations that will be closed include the DeWitt store, the England location and the Morrilton location.

For shoppers in England the store closure has brought on a lot of emotions.

“Until we get another store here, I will have to travel to Little Rock or North Little Rock,” resident, Rosetta Hart said. 

Once the Kroger in England closes, the next closest one is a 30-minute drive because that store was the main one in town. 

“This recent closure of multiple grocery stores is going to put quite a few more of our residents in places where they have trouble accessing good quality, nutritionist food,” Webb said.

Food desert means the closest store with fresh produce and protein is 20 miles away. 

According to the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance every county in Arkansas has a food desert. 

“I understand a company’s perspective that they’re looking for a certain amount of sales and margin but I think people in small towns deserve access,” CEO of Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, Cathy Webb said. 

“Arkansas ranks among the highest in the country for places having food deserts,” Webb said. “While a lot of times we think food deserts only occur in rural areas, it also can be a problem within cities.”

Webb said she’s received phone calls from several people who are worried and not sure about what they’re going to do next.

KARK did reach out to the city mayor but there has been no response.

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