Chicago’s South Side already struggled with food deserts, but looters and rioters just made the problem worse for its low-income residents.
Food deserts are urban areas where it is difficult for residents to find affordable or fresh, quality foods. Violence in the area over the weekend has exacerbated the problem, as looters cleaned out grocery stores, CBS 2 reported.
One of the stores that was looted over the weekend was the Jewel-Osco on 75th. William Wright, a resident of the area, showed frustration over the damage done to the store.
“It’s kind of a sad thing to think about,” he said. “I take my grandma here every Sunday.”
“It’s not what you do. It’s how do you do it,” Wright added. “What did we accomplish, aside from take our property value down and embarrass ourselves?”
The store was “ravaged by looters,” CBS reported, according to video that captured the aftermath of the riots.
Now residents like Wright will have to find somewhere else to get groceries, though it will be difficult since many don’t know what stores haven’t been looted already.
More from CBS:
Chicago now has food deserts in places that weren’t food deserts before.
“Bronzeville Mariano’s was looted, the Walmart on 47th was looted. Jewel,” said activist William Calloway.
And the food deserts that were there before are worse now.
“Now you have to go out of your way to get this stuff,” said activist Emir Lions. “People that don’t have a car. People that do not have family and friends.”
“Some seniors can’t travel,” added Calloway.
Instead, CBS 2 saw seniors taking buses, walking miles with only what their hands could carry. Calloway said neighborhoods without access to pharmacies or grocery stores could get worse if the city doesn’t find solutions soon.
Calloway also told the outlet that having “people that are hungry, that are quite angry already, that could escalate to something more disastrous.”
Lions added that the “looting and the rioting has nothing to do with the protest, but the rage and despair is what we need to start paying attention to,” because “if you don’t it’s going to continue.”
CBS reported that some fear these stores won’t be able to reopen after the looting and riots.
The violence comes as cities across the country descend into chaos following the police-involved death of George Floyd on May 25. Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. Chauvin was arrested and charged with murder and manslaughter within days of Floyd’s death, but riots still broke out as thousands claim mass systemic justice in America. While there are some legitimate protesters, the demonstrations quickly devolved into violence and looting, with shops in major cities getting their windows smashed and buildings and cars getting set on fire.
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