Grocery store pop-up opens in West Garfield Park to address food desert, accessibility to affordable options

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A grocery store pop-up in West Garfield Park opened for business this week, offering fresh produce, meat and other groceries to local residents who are currently without a neighborhood grocery store.

“We need more stuff like this in the community,” Roy Walker told NBC Chicago. “There’s a lot of people that don’t have anything—stuff like this, that pop up it’s a blessing.”

Walker picked up coffee creamer for work tomorrow morning. He knows affordable options are limited in his west side neighborhood.

“You never know what a person is going through, but this stuff makes it count—I’m grateful,” he said.

The pop-up initiative was started by the Garfield Park Community Council after the closure of Aldi and the temporary closure of Save-A-Lot for renovations, leaving the community without a grocery store.

“We figured it was time to bring the pop-up back,” Angela Taylor said. “It’s very close to the holiday season and we want to make sure the families that are here in the community do have access to fresh fruit, vegetables, and some protein and dairy; like folks in the regular communities."

The wellness coordinator with the council, Taylor said this is the organization's third pop-up. The group has been working in partnership with West Side United while receiving funding from the Blackhawks Foundation to open.

“They came in just in the nick of time so we took that and partnered it with a few coins we had available already,” Taylor said. “It’s going to allow us to be here throughout the entire month of November, all the way to just before Christmas.”

She’s been gathering feedback from residents about their vision for a community grocery store with every pop-up.

“They would like to have a grocery store for us and by us,” she said.

Taylor said the goal is to open a full-service grocery store in 2025. She knows its going to take everyone in the community to make it happen, while adding that residents are not waiting around for another big box store.

“The community needs to step up and step out to support itself in bringing to the community what is needed,” Taylor said.

The Garfield Park Grocery Store Pop-Up, located at 4316 W. Madison Street, is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The pop up runs through Dec. 21.

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