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Greenville looks to set statewide example in solving food desert problem

white man in white shirt, Ken Kolb
Ken Kolb, chair, Department of Sociology.

Concerned citizens and groups like LiveWell Greenville aim to make food deserts a thing of the past. Food deserts, where there’s a lack of access to healthy, fresh foods, are typically found in low-income urban areas. But the City of Greenville is considering an ordinance that will incentivize grocery stores to open in these special emphasis locations.

Ken Kolb, chair of the Department of Sociology at Furman University and author of “Retail Inequality: Reframing the Food Debate,” contributed to a Greenville Journal article. He told reporter Mike McMillan that many of those neighborhoods became a repository for bad retailers that catered to vice and exploited the poor, and the liquor stores and overpriced convenience stores offered little in terms of fresh foods.

Furman psychology alumnus Dan Weidenbenner ’11, executive director of Mill Village Ministries, was also quoted in the piece. He said city council’s efforts amount to an “amazing and exciting first step” in changing the landscape of West Greenville.

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