Shared Harvest Food Bank Selected for Funds

Shared Harvest Foodbank has been selected to receive thousands of dollars courtesy of Dollar General, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, and Butler County Auditor Nancy Nix.

Yost announced at the County Auditor’s Association of Ohio’s Winter Conference on Nov. 16 that $750,000 in court settlement funds from Dollar General would be distributed to food banks or other hunger-relief organizations. He tasked county auditors with determining, by Nov. 30, which organization in their county would receive the funds.

shared harvest logo“I’m very pleased to select Shared Harvest as the recipient of the funds earmarked for Butler County,” said Nix. “This food bank supplies donated and purchased food to 40 different pantries throughout the county and previously was selected by the County Commissioners to receive a federal funding allocation.”

Dollar General, a Tennessee-based discount retail chain with more than 980 stores throughout Ohio, displayed prices on its shelves for certain items but charged higher prices at its registers, and failed to correct prices at the point-of-sale to the lower shelf price.

Less than a week after the Butler County Auditor’s Office announced in October 2022 that all 20 Dollar General stores in the county had failed price verification checks conducted by the office, Yost sued the company for violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act.

The lawsuit, filed in Butler County Common Pleas Court on Nov. 1, 2022, stated that Dollar General listed false prices on items and engaged in bait advertising.

Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office contacted the Butler County Auditor’s Office soon after the public release of the price verification results for Dollar General, which showed failure rates between 16.7 and 88.2 percent. The acceptable error rate is 2 percent.

The Attorney General’s Office explained that every Ohio county with at least one Dollar General store will receive a minimum of $1,000 of the settlement money. The remainder of the settlement money will be distributed based on how many stores are in a county. There are 20 stores in Butler County.

Yost said he hopes the auditor-designated food banks will have the money in hand before the winter holidays. In addition to the monetary relief, the settlement with Dollar General requires the company to make various changes to ensure that its products ring up at the correct amount, including:

  • Staff sufficiently to keep its shelf tags updated.
  • If a consumer points out that a price at the register is higher than the price on the shelf tag, the employee must adjust the price to match that of the shelf tag; the shelf tag must then be fixed within 24 hours of noticing the discrepancy.
  • District managers must conduct random price checks every 45 days.
  • For any store that receives three “failed” auditors reports within six months, that store must complete a full-store assessment and check the price of every item in the store to ensure accuracy.
  • The company also must educate all employees about this policy and post signs in its Ohio stores informing customers of the same.
In 2019, Dollar General reached a $1.75 million settlement with the state of Vermont for violating the
state’s Consumer Protection Act, according to a release from Vermont’s Attorney General’s Office.
Ohio settled its case for $1 million.