Chicago Getting Fruit Carts for Food Deserts

Staff Writer
The Windy City is following in New York's footsteps and approving fresh produce street carts

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Here in Manhattan, fruit and vegetable street stands are kind of ubiquitous — and occasionally much cheaper than the nearby Gristedes. Chicago, it seems is following suit.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Windy City will be getting portable produce carts, bringing fresh fruits and vegetables to neighborhoods where access to fresh produce is limited.

Fifty percent of the produce stands will be in these so-called "food deserts." The plan also allows 30 carts to be stationed near CTA stations and public transportation areas with high foot traffic.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel hopes to have 50 carts up and running in two years, saying, "Every resident has the opportunity in the city of Chicago to be within a mile of fresh fruits, vegetable, and meats." In the past, Emanuel has created inner-city farmers markets and called on CEOs of Walmart and similar stores to build stores to sell fresh fruits and vegetables.

The first 50 carts should shrink the food desert by some 2.5 square miles.