GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn.—Dollar General is bringing fresh fruits and vegetables to as many as 10,000 stores over the next several years, with a number of those in current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-defined food deserts.
“With our extensive store footprint, often in communities others have chosen not to serve, Dollar General is uniquely positioned to help combat hunger by offering convenient access to a variety of nutritious foods at affordable prices,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO, in a press release.
About 75% of the U.S. population lives within five miles of one of Dollar General’s general merchandise stores, which is part of the reason for the expansion into fresh produce, Dollar General said. The chain partnered with a registered nutritionist to create DG Better For You meals, which provide healthier recipes for each meal of the day with items sourced from DG stores, and created the Good & Smart private brand to provide yet another healthier option to customers.
Currently, fresh produce is available in more than 1,300 stores, providing the top 20 items typically sold in grocery stores and about 80% of produce categories carried by most grocers, the company said.
In addition, Dollar General is partnering with Feeding America and will donate $1 million, as well as in-kind donations of perishable and nutritious food to community food banks. At full operational capacity, Dollar General seeks to provide as many as 20 million meals each year.
To read more about the ongoing competition between dollar stores and convenience stores, read “The Buck Stops Where” in NACS Magazine.