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Wendell Pierce, who’s from New Orleans, is returning home to give back to his community, in an economical way. Pierce has decided to help rebuild the city by starting Sterling Farms, a chain of grocery stores that will be convenient and accessible to the city’s residents still recovering from Hurricane Katrina’s devastation.

According to NBC News, New Orleans could use a boost like this because so many residents are severely disenfranchised because of the lack of access to fresh food and reasonable grocery stores.

In the fall of 2012, there were 26 supermarkets in the city — as many as the 30 existed prior to Hurricane Katrina. Tulane professor Diego Rose said, “it’s not about overall count,” it’s about distribution.” In New Orleans, disparities in neighborhood access to grocery stores got worse after Hurricane Katrina. Aware of the lack of access, Pierce is adamant about rebuilding and providing for his community.

Pierce told NBC, “That’s what I hope Sterling Farms is — that neighborhood grocery store where you see your neighbors, where you build that economic engine within your own community and exercise your right of self-determination. We have a right to be here. We have a right to live well and come together as a community.”

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