Arkansas residents grow food but have nowhere to buy it

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HUGHES, Ark. -- It's so bizarre that there are farms surrounding Hughes, growing food everywhere, yet the people who live there have to drive so far just to get something to eat.

Resident Mary Nash had just picked up groceries at Walmart in West Memphis, about a half hour drive from Hughes, when she spoke with WREG.

“When you make your first trip, you have to get all you can get to last for a while,” she said.

It is about 25 miles in any of three directions to the nearest grocery store. The town's only grocer shut down three years ago after a fire next door.

“They were making very little money and had a lot of expense,” Hughes Mayor Grady Cullum said.

Cullum admitted to the town's high poverty, high crime and few jobs.

Mix in their location away from everything, and it is not a surprise stores are reluctant to do business there.

Cullum is a physician and knows his people's diets are suffering.

Many eat anything they can find because they can't afford cars to drive the 25 miles if they want to.

The city's chamber has come up with sales projections and is online trying to find a grocer to help after fire and finances closed the last grocery left.

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