Residents of Virginia food desert lose another grocery store

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — An area of Virginia considered to be a food desert has lost another grocery store, making it tough for people without cars to find fresh groceries.

News outlets report shoppers at the Save-A-Lot store in northern Roanoke recently were met with a darkened storefront and an apology note.

Store owner Rett Ward has told The Roanoke Times that he opened the store in 2008 because the area was underserved. He told WSLS-TV that the store closed amid new competition from grocery businesses several miles away.

The city has tried to lure a grocer to the low-income area, where the U.S. Department of Agriculture says most urban residents are more than a half mile from the nearest supermarket and most rural residents are more than 10 miles away.

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