Dollar General Settlement to Benefit Ohio Food Banks

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Thursday that the bulk of a $1 million settlement with Dollar General will go to food banks or other hunger-relief organizations throughout the state.

Under an agreement reached between Yost’s office and Dollar General, $750,000 of the settlement money will be distributed to food banks for the purchase and distribution of food and/or personal-care items. Each county auditor will choose the beneficiary in his or her county – a decision that must be submitted to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office by Nov. 30.

“Most people don’t shop at Dollar General because they have a lot of extra money to spend,” Yost told the auditors Thursday at the County Auditors’ Association of Ohio’s Winter Conference. “So when a bottle of shampoo that should cost $1 costs $2 at the checkout, that’s a real thing. And you all brought it to light.”

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.

The Dollar General case originated in Butler County – where error rates were found to be as high as 88% – and many other auditors uncovered similar errors upon inspecting Dollar General stores in their respective counties.

“In every county there is at least one Dollar General, and there will be a $1,000 minimum check for that first store – so every county gets at least $1,000,” Yost said. “The remainder of the $750,000 is going to be divided up and distributed based on how many stores you have in your county.”

Yost said he hopes the auditor-designated food banks will have the money in hand before the winter holidays.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.