Chicago City Council Approves Outdoor Produce Stand Ordinance

Emanuel calls stands "a continued down payment" for Chicagoans to be near fresh produce

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel's idea to let vendors use food carts to sell fruits and vegetables has come to fruition.

The Chicago City Council on Wednesday approved an ordinance that makes it possible for vendors to sell their products from movable outdoor stands.

Emanuel introduced the ordinance with the idea that it would promote healthier living as well as create entrepreneurial opportunities for the vendors themselves. He also intends for the carts to be a source of fresh produce for those who don't have as much access to them through their neighborhood grocer.

Part of the ordinance ensures that at least half of the time, vendors must be doing business in these neighborhoods so that "every resident has the opportunity to be within a mile of fresh fruit, vegetables, and meats," Emanuel said.

The ordinance excludes the selling of freshly cut fruit or selling from the back of a truck.

There are 30 designated public locations, and vendors can apply for a licence from the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection to be located on private property.

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