Chicago's Democrat mayor wants to create city-run grocery stores to promote 'equitable' access to food after half of the city's Walmart and Whole Foods stores closed.
Mayor Brandon Johnson announced a partnership with the Economic Security Project to open municipally-owned grocery stores in Chicago in a bid to tackle many of the city's so-called 'food deserts.'
Johnson's new moves are set to help 'repair past harms that have contributed to purposeful disinvestment and exclusion and lack of food access' in historically underserved communities.
The liberal mayor said: 'All Chicagoans deserve to live near convenient, affordable, healthy grocery options.
'We know access to grocery stores is already a challenge for many residents, especially on the South and West sides.
'My administration is committed to advancing innovative, whole-of-government approaches to address these inequities.
'I am proud to work alongside partners to take this step in envisioning what a municipally owned grocery store in Chicago could look like.'
The city did not give a timeline for when the initiative would come forward - and the grant money which will help invest could come from state and federal tax dollars, not just local taxes, reports CBS.
The was mixed reaction to the scheme.
One person wrote on social media: 'Let’s see… major, successful retailers and grocery store operators have pulled out of certain zip codes due to chronic crime, but the city of Chicago is going to install and manage tax-payer-subsidized stores. What could possibly go wrong?'
Another added: 'People need to learn not to steal and the grocery stores won't have to close.'
And a third said: 'Residents must respect community businesses if they want their services.
'The city, with a budget shortfall of $538 million, owning grocery stores with taxpayer funds only in some neighborhoods is unsustainable & blatantly preferential. Work to mitigate causes of why stores left.'
Others accused Johnson's idea of being akin to communism.
Another critic said: 'Well if you want stores to locate in places like that then maybe you should crack down on crime - particularly shop lifting.
'Hard for businesses to stay open when your inventory walks out the door with shoplifters.'
And another person on social media said: 'I don't believe the city of Chicago could run an ice-cream stand in the summer time, let alone a grocery store.'
In April this year, Walmart announced that it was shuttering four main stores across Chicago because they were simply not profitable enough.
This equated to half of all the stores in the Chicago area.... (Read more)
Submitted 78 days ago