Walgreens Provides Oasis In The Food Desert

Much has been written about the food deserts on the south and west sides of the city.

I don't officially live in one, yet when I have to either walk 10 blocks north or 10 blocks south to grocery shop; it's challenging not to feel that I'm not a part of a food desert. 

When I run out of something I don't have a car to run to the store.  Try running to Jewel on the bus after dark. 

Not so much.

The decision to run out and pick up a few things has become much easier since Walgreens has decided to place produce, meat and fresh convenience food in the store on 67th & Stony Island.


Fresh fruits and vegetables, convenience produce (think freshly cut pre-packed fruit cups), meat, frozen fish and baking staples have found a new home near 67th and Stony Island.

The arrival of real food couldn't have come at a better time.

When I first moved to Woodlawn 9 years ago, there were two stores that had food.  One was a Mom & Pop the other a service station. 

While the Mom & Pop had some produce, I found the quality disturbing.  And when I say disturbing I mean vomit inducing.  Cabbage should not be placed in a warm display case that has lost the power of refrigeration. 

But the service station food---if you could call it that---was little more than artificially flavored fruit drinks, pop and snack food.  They didn't even carry milk or juice.

Run out of milk for your Corn Flakes, tough luck.

Both stores still exist and had made an attempt to carry better food choices; or at least make sure the food that they carry is not past its expiration date.  Nonetheless, I rarely find myself spending money inside their walls.

The million dollar question is will my fellow Woodlawners take advantage of this incredible opportunity or has the south side been saturated with junk food as its main source of nutrition for so long that everyone's palate is too far gone.

Generations of children have grown up on McDonalds, Burger King, J&J, Popeyes and Church's.  How can a brussel sprout compete?

I applaud Walgreens for taking the steps to bring proper food to the 'hood.  Now let's see if people will (literally) buy it. 


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