Why Detroit Should Say NO to Walmart
There may not yet be a campaign to keep Walmart out of Detroit but might as well start one now.
The company is on the hunt for big cities under-served by grocery stores where it might set up shop. You might think Walmart would do some good by bringing jobs and food to needy neighborhoods. But you’d be wrong.
In a recent essay by Food First Executive Director Eric Holt Gimenez in the Huffington Post, he says the company takes more than it gives.
“Hunger and food security stem from poverty, that in the US comes from unemployment and poor wages,” writes Holt Gimenez. “The solution to food security in America must come through a revitalized food economy — one that pays workers a living wage, that includes worker and minority owned businesses, and that keeps food dollars in local communities. Walmart does none of that.”
Even though Detroit doesn’t have any national chains like Walmart, I say they’re doing just fine without them. Detroit may be delving deeper into urban agriculture than any other city in America. The post-industrial city has more vacant land per capital than any other city in the U.S.–nearly 50 square miles. Add to that a hungry population, fertile soil and an energetic community of food security activists, nonprofit groups, churches, and plain ol’ food lovers and you’ve got the seeds of a revolution. There’s talk that Detroit could become the country’s first 100 percent self sufficient food city. All this without Walmart’s help.