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Dollar Stores Feed More Americans Than Whole Foods

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

dollar store food

Story at-a-glance -

  • Dollar stores such as Dollar General and Dollar Tree (which also owns Family Dollar) feed more Americans than Whole Foods
  • Across the U.S., there are now 30,000 Dollar General and Dollar Tree stores — outnumbering Walmart’s and McDonald’s’ combined — and the chains claim to have their sights on another 20,000 locations
  • Dollar stores target urban neighborhoods and small towns where economic struggles are commonplace, turning these areas into food deserts as they push out smaller, already struggling grocers
  • Driving this trend is the U.S. government’s subsidy of processed food, both through the Farm Bill and through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Research shows people who consume the most subsidized foods have a 37 percent greater risk of obesity than those who consume the least

Dollar stores such as Dollar General and Dollar Tree (which also owns Family Dollar) are becoming a primary source of food for many families. The chains feed more Americans than Whole Foods, which isn't surprising when you consider there are 30,000 Dollar General and Dollar Tree stores across the U.S. — outnumbering Walmart's and McDonald's' combined — compared to 446 Whole Foods locations.

The dollar store chains also claim to have their sights on yet another 20,000 locations. The problem with this trend is that dollar stores typically do not carry fresh food; it's primarily ultra-processed packaged foods and canned foods, which we know is a recipe for ill health in the long term.


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