ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – If you can’t beat them, join them. A New Mexico woman is on a mission to change the quality of food being sold at national Dollar General chains and her efforts will benefit local families and farmers.
“These are a variety of green chile, arugula,” said Helga Garza.
Garza shows off some veggies that have sprouted in a greenhouse in the South Valley. She works for the Agri-Cultura Cooperative Network, which helps local farmers get their products into grocery stores.
Garza said bargain stores, like Dollar General, are lacking healthy options and with a Dollar General on almost every corner these days, she decided to do something about it.
“We knew they weren’t going away and they were multiplying at a very fast rate and where those stores are coming up are in communities that are five miles away or more from a grocery store,” said Garza.
Garza even bought stock in Dollar General so she could attend shareholder meetings and help change how things are sold there. The fruits of her labor are about to pay off, in just a few months, locally sourced salsa, salad dressing and dehydrated veggies, all grown right here in New Mexico, will hit the shelves in Dollar Generals in the South Valley and International District.
“Instead of getting the saturated potato chips, they will be able to access dehydrated fruit, actual real blue corn chips coming from our farms up north,” said Garza.
People KRQE News 13 spoke with today, love the idea of healthy, locally grown items being sold at a bargain price.
“I think it’s great. I think that’s a great idea,” said local Ernest Barela.
That’s just the beginning, Garza hopes Dollar General will eventually sell fresh produce from local farms
“This is a way to show other corporations how they can invest in communities and be good neighbors to us,” said Garza.
The local items will be released in the stores in September. Garza said this is the first time ever in the country, Dollar General will work with local farms.