Onaga, KS – Last December, the only grocery store in Onaga burned down. Onaga is a town of about 700 in northeast Kansas, surrounded by cattle ranches, corn and wheat farms. But suddenly, there was no place to buy groceries for 25 miles in any direction.
People in town found their routines changed dramatically. Althea Sender, for example, is 86 years old, lives alone and doesn't drive long distances.
"You're baking - you know - or fixing something and you need something. Well, you can't just run down to the store and get it," Sender says.
Manhattan, Ks. – According to a survey done by Kansas State University, one third of all small-town stores closed just in the past three years. It's partly because rural populations are dwindling and mom and pop markets aren't able to compete with large chains.