Dallas city leaders plan to match a $3 million grant approved last week to lure Costco with another $3 million to lure grocery stores to the Dallas food desert.
Food deserts are areas where full service grocery stores are more than a mile away. In a modern American city, it is surprising how much of Dallas is considered a food desert.
Arnold was angry last week when the Dallas City Council approved $3 million to attract a new Costco to a North Dallas Central Expressway location near Coit Road and LBJ Freeway. Arnold called it “economic apartheid.”
“This is basic,” said Dallas Council Member Carolyn King Arnold. “In 2016, we should not be discussing the need for a grocery store in a community.”
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Council Member Mark Clayton last week suggested $3 million for southern Dallas food desert areas as a compromise to support the Costco grant.
The food desert idea was endorsed Monday by the Dallas City Council Economic Development Committee and Arnold was pleased.
“It’s just a starting point,” Arnold said. “It’s not going to solve all the problems that we have, but we are encouraged by the fact that we have a dialog now.”
Jessica Rubin lives in a Dallas food desert area near Bonnie View Road and Simpson Stuart Road in far South Oak Cliff.
Because grocery stores are so far away, Rubin said she frequently shops at a dollar store to feed her two children, but that can be more expensive.
“You come here, a gallon of milk is like $5 almost, versus at the grocery store it’s $2,” Rubin said.
Economic Development Committee Chairman Rickey Callahan said the food desert money could be split to lure more than one new store.
“In all good neighborhoods, you want to have low crime, you want good schools and you want opportunities for shopping and retail,” Callahan said.
Jessica Rubin said more full-service grocery stores would be a tremendous improvement for southern Dallas.
“And if you blossom it, you’ll have more people that want to come to this area,” Rubin said.