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People making do the best they can in northern food desert

January 10, 2020 Digital Media Exclusive

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Sharon and Dean Snow, owners of the Rummy Mart in Chicora, stand near a refrigerated case containing a small selection of produce. The Snows are selling lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and other fresh items to augment the diets of residents, many of whom live on food from the local dollar store now that the former Friedman's Freshmarket has been closed for two years.

CHICORA — The sole focus of most business owners is bumping up their bottom line, but Sharon and Dean Snow, owners of the Rummy Mart gas station and convenience store, are concerned about their customers eating healthily since the town’s only grocery store closed two years ago.

“The elderly can’t get to Butler,” said Sharon Snow, referring to the closest town where Chicora residents can access a full-service grocery store.

Because so many residents of the borough and surrounding area are subsisting on food from the dollar store since the Friedman’s Freshmarket closed, Sharon Snow decided to start offering a small selection of fresh produce like lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes.

“We love this town, and we love the people in it,” she said.

The couple is now interviewing contractors to increase their electrical capabilities so they can offer citizens even more fresh food.

“We try to carry things the (dollar store) doesn’t have,” she said. “People seem grateful.”

This is an excerpt from a larger that appeared in Sunday’s Butler Eagle. Subscribe online or in print to read the full article and find out what Chicora locals have to say about living in a food desert.

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