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Booming business at dollar stores shows the widening gulf between haves and have-nots during pandemic

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Food deserts, generally defined as urban areas in which the closest grocery store is more than a mile away, tend to concentrate in low-income neighborhoods. Several cities, including Tulsa, New Orleans, Mesquite, Tex., and Birmingham, Ala., have passed legislation restricting dollar stores from opening within one or two miles of existing locations. Other areas, like Oklahoma City’s Ward 7, are requiring that new discount stores either have a pharmacy or dedicate at least 500 square feet to fresh vegetables, fruit and meat.

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