Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel Thursday attended the grand opening of a new Sav-a-Lot at 82nd and Stony Island, an area considered one of the city's food deserts.
Emanuel pledged during his campaign for mayor to work with grocery stores to eliminate food deserts -- areas without close proximity to gorcery stores, or fresh fruits and vegetables. Thursday, he said, was a good first step to providing more than 600,000 Chicagoans access to nutritious foods.
"Over the next term we will make major reductions in that 600,000 number," Emanuel said.
He said Sav-a-Lot principles have committed to building 30 more stores in the Chicago area over the next few years. Emanuel touted not only the public health benefits to having more nutritious food available, but also the jobs the new stores will provide.
"In there, 30 people are working," Emanuel said. "To build the store, 50 construction workers."
Mayor Richard Daley had indicated he would attend the store opening, but didn't arrive.