Walgreens to sell vegetables, fruit in ‘food desert’

By Sandra M. Jones
Posted Aug. 10, 2010 at 4:37 p.m.

Walgreen Co. plans to unveil its fresh food format Wednesday at one of its South Side stores, the culmination of a year-long effort  to bring groceries to the city’s food deserts.

The store, at 67th Street and Stony Island Avenue, is one of 10 Walgreen stores in the city redesigned to carry groceries. The stores will offer more than 750 new food items such as fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meat and fish, pasta, rice, beans, eggs and whole-grain cereals.
The Deerfield-based drug store chain said it was approached by Mayor Richard Daley last year to bring more healthy food to areas that the city has identified as food deserts, namely neighborhoods that lack supermarkets.

Separately, Walgreen is launching a pilot program with Northwestern Medicine and Near North Health Service Corp. to educate residents about diet and health.

Walgreen Chicago Stores with Food Centers

Opened Fall 2009
2340 W. Madison St. (Madison St. & Western Ave.)
10300 S. Michigan Ave. (Michigan Ave. & 103rd St.)

Opened in July 2010
1533 E. 67th Pl. (67th Place & Stony Island)
1213 W. 79th St. (79th St. & Racine Ave.)
5036 S. Cottage Grove Ave. (Cottage Grove Ave. & 51st St.)
8636 S. Ashland Ave. (Ashland Ave. & 87th St.)

Scheduled to Open in August 2010
650 W. 63rd St. (63rd St. & Halsted Parkway)
2015 E. 79th St. (79th St. & Jeffery Blvd.)
11040 S. Michigan Ave. (Michigan Ave. & 111th St.)
5222 W. Madison St. (Madison St. & Laramie Ave.)

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  1. dicktoll Aug. 11, 2010 at 7:17 a.m.

    I trust they will sell ammunition

  2. Nasda Aug. 11, 2010 at 7:50 a.m.

    It looks like they are gearing up….for the “soup lines”!

  3. pjk Aug. 11, 2010 at 8:08 a.m.

    It would be nice if they could add a firing range to train the bangers how to hit what they are really shooting at. EACH OTHER.

  4. Abbie Aug. 11, 2010 at 8:31 a.m.

    This is great to read … that Mayor Daley is trying to do something about this very real problem, and that Walgreens is willing to step up and tackle this market. Not having access to fresh food (heck, just food, period)has so many ramifications. We should all buy stock in Walgreens and support their efforts.

  5. pjk Aug. 11, 2010 at 8:50 a.m.


    If the Mayor was really concerned about the food dessert communities, he would hire more police.
    He just hates to see people die with an empty stomach.

  6. jack (me) Aug. 11, 2010 at 9:06 a.m.

    Abbie, you can hope, but don’t bet that this vegetable department stays open too long.

    The folks around there have been buying from Moo and Oink at 71st and Stony, and don’t think that their habits are going to change. So, I guess the “food desert” extends to 4 blocks from a food store. There is also a Jewel at 75th and Stony, and a Dominick’s at 71st and Jeffery.

    If the veggies don’t sell, and rot on the shelves, remember who told you so.

  7. Bill Aug. 11, 2010 at 9:24 a.m.

    Walgreens will fill a much needed void and be rewarded for their endeavor.

  8. Dandy Randy Aug. 11, 2010 at 9:47 a.m.

    Wow… it’s to the point where you can’t report on a positive story on the city’s poorer neighborhoods without right wingers talking about guns and gangbangers…

    Sell ammo? Shooting ranges?

    Why can’t you just be happy that our fellow Chicagoians are going to be eating a little better?

    It’s just sad how completely off the rails conservatives have gone nowadays… hating on anything that isn’t about them, disparaging our neighbors who are less fortunate…

    It’s truly a sick and twisted ideology that says, “I’ve got mine, forget everyone else!”

  9. RomanB Aug. 11, 2010 at 10:11 a.m.

    Looks like comments are coming out of teabagger conservative trailer trash ghettos again.

  10. jack (me) Aug. 11, 2010 at 10:22 a.m.

    No, Dandy Randy, it is just that liberals buy the pap that the Daley administration feeds them. They do not understand economics. You, too, Bill. Wait until Walgreens decides that they have to charge 30 cents a banana to make a go there. Guess how many they will sell?

    I demonstrated that the area around 67th and Stony was not a food desert, but you all buy that lying mantra.

    And, if you are so offended by the others mentioning that ammo would sell better, how about reading the article about teenagers on bikes shooting up two little girls? The other posters may have been sarcastic, but are your heads that much in the sand over that, too?

  11. Bill Aug. 11, 2010 at 11:17 a.m.

    Jack, how far do you live from 67th and Stony?