Using local meat and produce keeps small town economy moving

It’s painful to admit, but my little hometown, Armington, Illinois, population a bit more than 350, has dried up.

No, I’m not talking about the good people who still live there.  It’s a typical Midwestern village where neighbors know their neighbors and will go out of their way to render good deeds for each other.  When I say “dried up,” I’m referring to the town’s commerce, especially the retail sector, which has all but disappeared.

That started to happen decades ago when the town’s school district was swallowed up by a state-sanctioned consolidation, which produced the Olympia school district, at the time the largest geographic public school system in Illinois.  Parents no longer came to town twice a day to deliver or pick up their kids from school.  Losing that daily traffic took its toll on the grocery store, drug store, the carpet and hardware store, among others.  One by one, they all shuttered their businesses.

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