Unit In Ford Heights Apartment Complex Converted Into Grocery Store

(CBS) — A grocery store has its grand opening today in one of the Chicago area’s starkest examples of a food desert.

WBBM’s Steve Miller reports it is opening in Ford Heights, where almost half the population is below the poverty line.

“And there really is nothing, probably within a five-mile radius, in terms of shopping options,” said Richard Monocchio, executive director of the Cook County Housing Authority.

Until now. Crisp! Fresh Market, run by Catholic Charities, is opening in a converted unit of an apartment complex that serves about 100 families in Ford Heights.

“That’s the beauty of this,” Monocchio said. “We’re taking the risk because we have a purpose. We have a social purpose. Whereas a for-profit market… would not come and has not come to these areas, simply because they don’t think they would be profitable.”

Monocchio says they expect this store to be profitable and then they hope to expand to other Cook County Housing Authority sites. He says three residents of the housing units have been hired to work in the store.

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