CHICAGO — Nineteen expanded, retrofitted Walgreens locations located in Chicago food deserts — where residents lack sufficient access to fresh groceries — will soon be selling local produce through a partnership with Growing Power, a national non-profit organization focused on creating community food systems.
“Walgreens is very excited to work with Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel and the city of Chicago to address the need for more food oasis stores across our hometown of Chicago,” Walgreens President and CEO Greg Wasson said during a press conference.
“With more than 45% of our stores located in or around food deserts, we are uniquely positioned to increase access to healthy food and help bring solutions to these communities. Another important aspect of this effort is our relationship with a group of urban farmers from Chicago communities like Roseland and Washington Park who will provide high-quality produce that we will offer to our customers. All of us are working toward a common goal of getting healthy fresh, affordable foods in the hands of people who need it most.”
In addition to the expanded Walgreens locations, four other grocery chains announced plans to open 17 new stores in underserved neighborhoods throughout Chicago. Supervalu will be opening new Sav-A-Lot locations in North Lawndale, Grand Boulevard, Austin, Near West Side, West Pullman, Morgan Park, Calumet Heights, West Englewood and Englewood communities. Wal-Mart is finalizing three new stores on the south and southwest sides, and Aldi’s is building a store in Roseland.