Open Menu
Chicago - The city of Chicago in the United States plans to open a municipally owned grocery store. The concept is part of Chicago Major Brandon Johnson’s goal of promoting food equity and accessibility for all residents of the city. A feasibility study is underway.

Mayor Brandon Johnson of Chicago in the United States has announced a partnership with the non-profit organization Economic Security Project to open a municipally owned grocery store. The partners are currently conducting a feasibility study to inform the Johnson administration’s food retail strategy, which will receive input from experts, community leaders and Chicago’s Food Equity Council. “All Chicagoans deserve to live near convenient, affordable, healthy grocery options,” commented Mayor Brandon Johnson in a statement

Historic disinvestment has led to inequitable access to food retail across Chicago, explains the statement. Estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggest that 63.5 per cent of residents in the West Englewood area of the city and 52 per cent of residents in East Garfield Park live more than half a mile from their nearest grocery store. In affluent West Town, less than one per cent of residents experience this barrier to food access. The statement continues that grocery stores serve as “anchors in communities” by employing community members. Grocery store closures, especially in areas that rely on one grocery store provider, force residents to leave their neighborhoods and spend money outside of their communities, it writes. 

“The City of Chicago is reimagining the role government can play in our lives,” said Ameya Pawar, Senior Advisor at Economic Security Project. “Not dissimilar from the way a library or the postal service operates, a city-owned grocery store in the South or West side of Chicago would be a viable way to restore access to healthy food in areas that have suffered from historic and systemic disinvestment." ce/em