An Open Letter to People Who Want to Change the World

Chris Lowry
3 min readMay 22, 2022

This idea started with an Associated Press article about the closing of 150 Wal Mart stores across the United States.

The theme of the article was that as the big box retailer absconded to more profitable locations, it was creating a series of “food deserts” in low income areas.

A food desert is created when locals don’t have access to fresh fruit, vegetables or meat.

I know vegans would argue that you don’t need access to meat, but as the article went on to explain, the people in Coal Hill, Arkansas would have to drive 15 miles to reach the next Wal Mart, and residents of a small town outside of Birmingham, AL would know have to walk across a busy street to reach fresh produce.

The cynical side of me thought, “Why don’t they just plant a garden?”

The entrepreneurial side of me thought, “Why doesn’t someone go in and open up a Mom and Pop Produce store?”

I wrote a blog post about that idea, and had to do some research.

I picked Coal Hill AR, a small town with a population of just under 1,000 citizens just South of Interstate 40 between Russellville and Fort Smith.

They lost their neighborhood Wal Mart, which is a smaller version of the regular Wal Mart store.

I used Google to zoom around the streets to see what I could find.

Stores were limited and so it was probably true that a lack of Wal Mart may have contributed to a food desert.

I could not tell if the locals had gardens planted on the maps.

What I did find was 8 churches serving 1000 people.

So I wandered around the churches.

They had buildings, they had clear land, they had a congregation.

I wrote letters to the pastors and preachers offering them the advice of planting a community garden at the church.

But that got me to thinking about my church when I was a teenager.



Chris Lowry

Author at Runner writing books both fiction and non fiction, crypto investor, real estate and urban renewal.