Facing a ‘Food Desert,’ Oklahoma City Wants Dollar Stores to Sell Fresh Food

In the nine square miles that cover the 73111 ZIP Code in northeast Oklahoma City, there isn’t a single grocery store. The last one closed over the summer.

There are, however, four dollar stores in the area, where 32% of the 11,000 residents live below the poverty level—roughly three times the national average.

“That ZIP Code is one of the unhealthiest in our city,” said Oklahoma City Councilwoman Nikki Nice. “Changing that starts with access to food.”

This week, the City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on a plan requiring new retailers in the area to designate at least 500 square feet of space to fresh food. The measure is expected to pass.

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