A leading request from Starke County residents during public input meetings is increased access to high quality grocery stores. Of the three municipalities in Starke County, only Knox houses full grocery stores, Five Star and Save-a-Lot. Until recently, North Judson had a local grocery store, but it was heavily underutilized by residents due to reported poor quality.
Knox and North Judson both have Dollar General locations, with this store being the only grocery store in North Judson. These Dollar Generals have food found in a convenience store, including dry and frozen goods, as well as dairy and other refrigerated products. Produce and fresh meat are not available.
Several Starke County residents have seasonal produce stands, including a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
Starke County is greatly lacking in access to healthy, high-quality food for all residents, which affects the county’s health rankings and has other adverse effects. It is an even greater concern for those who are home bound, as well as those who lack the capacity to travel to neighboring communities.