CHICAGO (CBS) — A grocery giveaway in Garfield Park on Saturday put a spotlight on growing food deserts in Chicago.
CBS 2’s Marissa Parra reports on how the compounded effects of the pandemic and unrest have made food security worse than before.READ MORE: 2 Mass Shootings Reported At The Same Time In Chicago Hours After President Biden Announces Plan To Address City's Violence
After One Eleven Food & Liquors was shut down by the city, people were left with fewer food options than they had before.
“This is a food desert,” said Siri Hibbler. “The last thing we need to close is the food store.
“This community in Garfield Park is still predominantly African American. It was already suffering from unemployment as it is, and now since COVID it has increased.”
It’s not a problem limited to just Garfield Park — food banks around Chicago are reporting double to triple the need because of the pandemic.READ MORE: Police Searching For Four Suspects After Man Carjacked In River North
But the problem is exacerbated in a neighborhood like Garfield Park, with a high concentration of senior Chicagoans who can only get around on foot — on top of other stressors
“Folks are having a hard time paying rent and feeding themselves,” said Hibbler.
But Hibbler wants people to start thinking about being a part of the solution.
During the free grocery giveaway put on by the COVID-19 African American Relief Fund, dozens lined up for veggies, milk, snacks, basic staples that are easy to take for granted until you can’t get them. Hibbler said the group gave out 12,000 pounds of groceries.
They’re also calling for One Eleven Food & Liquors to be reopened after it was shut down by the city in early AugustMORE NEWS: Cook County Nurses Set To Strike Thursday Over Staffing Issues
And just to give you an idea of food needs around the rest of the city — Mission of our Lady of Angels, which serves west Humboldt Park, is reporting nearly triple the need they had before.