Black-Owned North Lawndale Market to Provide Fresh Produce

North Lawndale
North Lawndale
Courtesy of Northwest Retail (Flickr CC0)

A new store is coming to the west side of Chicago that will offer fresh food. North Lawndale Fresh Meat & Produce Market is set to open in Spring 2022 on S. Pulaski Road.

Currently, Freshway Market located on W. Roosevelt Road is the only grocery store in Lawndale. Other stores that were providing food to the people of the neighborhood have closed. This new grocery store has much more to offer for residents in the community and Chicagoans other than groceries.

North Lawndale has lacked many stores and shops that provide basic goods and services which upscale neighborhoods have had for many years now. Several food markets have closed on the west side of Chicago in recent years.

North Lawndale
Courtesy of Powell Gardens (Flickr CC0)

Residents in the community have to travel miles in order to get food for themselves and their families. Ruby Ferguson, Chicago’s Food Equity Policy Lead states, “Food Equity Council will use dollars allocated by the city from the American Rescue Plan to invest in community-driven solutions, like mom-and-pop grocery stores with deeper community connections or supporting urban agriculture and local growers.”

The communities of the west side deserve options to provide nutritious foods to their family. Within the past year, supermarkets such as Save A Lot and Aldi have closed in the urban community. “In this particular time, Black people especially, we need our own stores. We need to be able to feed ourselves,” Person said.

North Lawndale Fresh Meat & Produce Market is a Black-owned business that will also provide fresh foods grown by Black farmers as well. Developer Al Person’s other projects include a cafe and ice cream shop called Sugar Rush that will be located next door to the grocery store.

The food desert created in North Lawndale causes problems for individuals in those communities. Residents have been disappointed when stores move or are permanently shut down. Stores such as Aldi were affordable for those who reside in those neighborhoods on Chicago’s west side.

Senior citizens in the community have trouble traveling short blocks and carrying groceries by themselves alone. Many do not have personal transportation or access to rides in order to get food within their community as well as outside the neighborhood.

Where do people get food? How far do they have to travel to find the nearest store? Several groups and organizations have come together in a collaborative effort to distribute food in underserved communities. The West Side collaborative effort has helped tremendously and is adding smiles to many faces.

The new Black-owned market that will bring fresh produce to North Lawndale offers hope to the community. More grocery stores are needed but this is a start to a future of providing fresh foods in the urban community.

Written by Lionel Carter
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

Block Club Chicago: West Sider To Open Lawndale’s Only Black-Owned Grocery Store In New Year, Fresh Food From Black Farmers; by Pascal Sabino
WTTW News: West Side Grocery Store Closure Highlights Food Inequalities in Chicago; by Marissa Nelson
Garfield Park Community Council: After Aldi closed in a food desert, west side groups give groceries to neighbors — but permanent food access is needed, they say; by Mack Liederman

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Northwest Retail’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Powell Gardens’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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