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‘Family Dollar’ Store Closures Threaten More Americans with Hunger, Illness, Penury

On March 13, discount retailer Dollar Tree had announced it would close 970 stores of its subsidiary Family Dollar over the next several years, including 600 in 2024. Family Dollar, with about 8,000 stores nationwide, caters to lower-income customers primarily in poor, urban areas. Poor rural communities also have come to depend on the discount stores as their only nearby source of food.

Approximately 80% of Family Dollar sales are of food items. According to Dollar Tree CEO Rick Dreiling, a combination of high inflation and cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) have significantly impacted sales, thus reducing profits and justifying the closure of unprofitable stores. In effect, these closures will enlarge the already expansive “food deserts” in the U.S., threatening to increase the number of Americans suffering from hunger.

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