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Mississippi Native Marquitrice Mangham Opened A Grocery Store To Combat Food Insecurity, And She’s Enlisting The Help Of Local Farmers To Do So

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Marquitrice Mangham has opened a grocery store in her hometown.

According to Capital B News, Mangham was born and raised in Webb, MS, but moved away after high school. Now living in Atlanta, GA, she ventured back part-time to the Mississippi community of less than 500 residents in 2016 after she inherited family farmland. Upon her return, Mangham recognized worsening circumstances had affected housing and businesses in the area. Additionally, for household needs locals could only rely on a Dollar General, which had been in operation since 2009. The nearest grocery store was a 20-mile drive.

Mangham decided to support the community by establishing Farmacy Marketplace in 2022. The 2,500-square-foot store sources its fresh foods and meats primarily from local farmers. Additionally, she opened the grocery store under her nonprofit, In Her Shoes, to have access to programs and resources that can sustain the store in the community.

“There was only one grocery store in the whole county, and that was 15 to 17 miles away from most residents in the county, and some even farther,” she told the outlet. “In Her Shoes, we work closely with farmers and help them to grow their business or at least sustain their business over time. One of the biggest ways to help them is to access markets. We work with farmers who are growing but not able to reach those populations that need it … because the populations are sparsely populated, everything is stretched out over 600 square miles.”

She continued, “They’re throwing their hard-earned food away because it’s rotting, meeting its shelf life prior to them actually being able to sell it or reach people who want to buy it. The grocery store was the answer to a number of things.”

Currently, the focus remains on Farmacy Marketplace, and Mangham is looking to combat food insecurity in a myriad of ways even beyond the storefront.

“The idea isn’t to just have a brick-and-mortar,” she expressed to Capital B News. “The idea isn’t to just build a grocery store. The idea or the hope is to provide fresh food access in whatever form that might be.” 





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