South Dallas Grocery Store Network Hopes to End Food Deserts

My Grocery Store Network provides food education and good-paying jobs, and builds partnerships with small farmers.

Taking a quick trip to the local grocery store and choosing from several varieties of fresh apples or a mountain of colorful vegetables is something many take for granted. Few have to consider what to make for dinner without access to these items and stores.

But for many people across the country, and right here in Dallas, that is a reality. 23 of Dallas’s 86 zip codes lack access to a supermarket and are considered food deserts.

Local businessman and founder of My Grocery Store Network, Bruce Carter, is working to change that.

“My Grocery Store Network was designed to eradicate food deserts in America,” Carter said. “We spent several years trying to understand why it existed. And it came down to access and behavior. Understanding both of these, especially in urban cores, we took the data and came up with the concept that says that we can get the community to appreciate the store and appreciate those within the community.”

While Carter’s business plans on providing fresh food options to the community, they also plan to focus on food education, good-paying jobs, and building partnerships with small farmers.

Each store location will have three food trucks outside, offering various educational and food prep services. One will focus on only vegan foods, while another will prep meals for customers to take home and cook themselves.

Starting wage at any MGSN store is $15. Carter believes that by offering a higher starting wage, the stores will attract employees from the local community who would not be able to work and pay for things like transportation or childcare at a lower salary. Additionally, the higher starting wage will encourage employees to care about their store and what goes on there..

Another critical aspect of the MGSN plan is where the food is sourced. Carter’s business plan includes opportunities for Black and minority farmers that have a direct line to sell their products in-store and help mentor the next generation of farmers. My Grocery Store Network has developed partnerships with USDA, NASA, 1890 land grant institutions, HBCUs, black farmers, local small non-profits, and little league organizations to establish 1 million farmers by 2026.

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