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No more dollar stores to be built in Little Rock for 9 months

It's one step toward having more grocery stores like K Hall & Sons, a local store that's been in Little Rock for decades and is a staple in their community.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — It seems like you see them everywhere in Arkansas, but for at least nine months, you won't see new dollar stores cropping up in Little Rock. 

Tuesday night, city directors voted to block new low-price convenience stores. 

"Residents have been saying for years that they wanted to see grocery stores. Full service grocery stores in the parts of Little Rock that don't have full service grocery stores," said Kathy Webb, district 3 director.

Webb proposed the resolution to halt any new dollar stores from being built for the next nine months in Little Rock.

"More people should have access to good, healthy, nutritious food and we have a lot of neighbors in Little Rock where folks don't have that access," said Webb.

Food deserts have been identified between 12th Street and Woodrow.

According to Webb, studies show grocery stores tend to close when dollar stores pop up in urban areas populated by marginalized communities.

The resolution doesn't allow any zoning request to be approved for a business with more than 12,000 square feet that sells the majority of its products for less than $10.

Now, it's looking to the future for other options and solutions to tackle hunger.

"And really truly come up with a variety of policy options that would offer people access to healthy, nutritious food in the neighborhood," said Webb.

Webb wants to make way for more grocery stores like K Hall & Sons, a local store that's been in Little Rock for decades and is a staple in their community.

"Most of the items, the community needs them and most people need them in their diet," said David Hall, the owner of the grocery store.

K Hall & Sons grocery gets truckloads of food items three times a week to keep their shelves stocked with produce, according to Hall.

"We don't have space to carry a lot of it, but we have space to carry the basic main items that people need in their everyday life," said Hall. 

For more than 40 years, he said they've played their part to combat the area's food desert status.

"We deliver produce. We deliver produce to a lot of the local schools. A lot of the local restaurants," said Hall.

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