It’s 4 miles to the nearest chain grocery here. Across the state line.
4 miles to the nearest small chain grocery in the next town in NH.
Farm stands are 5 miles in the same direction.
This town had a general store that sold fresh meat and produce when we moved in. That has gone thru a couple of owners since then. Now some muzzie owns it and sells organic produce. Natural this and organic that.
Other than that it’s “Sin City”.
That’s : State Liquor store, Cigar store, and convenience/beer store.
1/2 mile. I can walk there and have😁
It's 15 miles for me. Which is close enough; for now.
The issue I see in this "report" and the busy-body's concern, is that they're expecting the Feds to "do something" about it. Sure! We can all put in the work right now to grow our own & preserve it. But what about when we're 80? or 90, as the case may be. Still gotta eat right? What if prices go out of the reach of fixed incomes?
I'm looking at this from the rural community point of view. IF our local chain goes belly up, and the independent stores (only 2 of those within the same relative distance) we also have a couple butcher shops, farmer's markets, farm stands, etc. You still see signs along the ends of driveways listing eggs @ so much a dozen. The local communities need to plan out a way to feed people or make it affordable to feed themselves.
I've been following the thread (elsewhere) where I first saw this. People are saying local milk deliveries and other trucks are starting to make the rounds again, out in the boonies. People are mentioning co-ops too. And that's all well & good if kids stay on the farm or at least in the area to carry on. Some ARE starting to abandon the cities and come back; homesteading is a popular daydream for some city people.
CSAs and co-ops are big here too. So I'm pretty sure a local market would develop and expand. Still - takes an idea, a plan and leadership.
Secondary impacts from losing affordable grocery stores locally include losing other businesses as well. Perhaps realizing that, our Tractor Supply has been sponsoring/hosting a farmer's market.
We have been kicking around the idea of starting a farmer's market here at Camp NoFly.
We can offer fresh fruit, veggies, herbs, "Country" eggs, bee products like honey, candles, lotions, items from the blacksmith shop, etc.
One big issue has made us hesitant to pull the trigger.
We don't want to paint ourselve as a target should it all go sideways. I don't want potential customers to remember where they got their fresh yummies and think that we would be an easy target.
As long as I can grow my own, that's what I'll do to take care of me and mine.
I hope the others that are providing for their communities don't become victims should it all go down hill.
You may remember from 'over on the dry side' a couple threads about trading posts. The frontier trading posts faced the same kind of security issues that are likely to arise if we go into a wrol situation. Local supply and a weekly market would work pretty well for what most folks are going to be needing.
After my move, my home is about 5 miles from the closest grocery. I'm 3 miles from the closest gas station. The wife is really excited about having a large garden here, and one of our group members is going to put a couple hives on the property. Up near the top of my to-do list is building a chicken coop and bunny hutch.
At the BOL, we have all of the above on a much larger scale, plus cattle and greenhouse (soon to be plural), so we are about as self-sufficient as possible. Closest grocery there is over 10 miles away, closest gas station is right at 10.
I'm not a big fan of government subsidies, and am a proponent of free markets, so not sure I agree with the idea in the OP, although I understand it.
I really don't agree with the FedGov pushing a "solution" - but I would think rural localities could perhaps brainstorm their OWN. There are lots of possibilities, as long as someone steps up to coordinate and organize and manage.
Let’s look at it this way. If say, it becomes economically unattractive for grocery stores to operate in sparsely populated areas. Then people generally did at least a couple of the following.
Grew and raised their own.
Paid or bartered for a neighbors excess.
Went to local markets in other towns.
Took periodic longer trips to the “ Big City” for other needs, want, larger big ticket items.
As it is now most areas have some organized city, town, church or fraternal order that provides meals, transportation, and some health services in more rural areas.
If it’s some other type situation one would need family, neighbors, church group or other friendlies to look after elderly or other vulnerable town / group members.