The local grocery store is an integral institution of rural communities and in rural life. Not only does the local grocery store provide the sustenance of life, it fills the roles of economic driver, community builder, employer and meeting place.
Unfortunately, many rural communities across the nation are losing local grocery stores, and residents are forced to leave their communities to purchase food, often at great expense due to great distance.
This brief examines trends regarding rural grocery stores, reasons why rural communities are losing grocery stores, and some of the personal and community implications when a community lacks a grocery store. Finally, we examine some of the issues and challenges facing rural grocery stores.