Local

New Ordinance Allows For Fresh Produce Carts In Food Deserts

(CBS File Photo)

(CBS File Photo)

John Cody. John Cody
John Cody is a veteran reporter for Newsradio 780.
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CHICAGO (CBS) — A new city ordinance aims to increase the flow of fresh produce into so-called food deserts in Chicago.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, the City Council passed the ordinance at its meeting Wednesday. Under the ordinance, the city will sell new produce vending licenses that require anyone with multiple vegetable carts to assign at least half those carts to Chicago neighborhoods designated food deserts.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says carts selling uncut vegetables and fruit are part of a plan to whittle down the size of Chicago food deserts.

“Make sure that every resident has an opportunity within the city of Chicago to be within a mile of fresh fruits, vegetables and meats,” the mayor said.

The ordinance allows the cart operators to stay in one place throughout the course of the day rather than moving from place to place under a peddler’s license. The Chicago Sun-Times reports a pilot program will also allow 30 carts near ‘L’ stops and other locations with high food traffic in food deserts.

The city anticipates authorizing 50 carts in the first two years of the program, which will create up to 100 jobs and shrink the city’s food desert by 2.5 square miles, the newspaper reported.