Looters and rioters clearing out grocery store shelves in Chicago’s South Side has exposed how vulnerable many communities in the area are to becoming food deserts, or places where it is difficult for residents to find fresh, affordable and good quality food. One of the stores that was ransacked was the Jewel-Osco, located on 75th street.
On the evening of May 31, the grocery store was swept clean by looters, and on the following morning, volunteers from the community were called in to help tidy up the store. Looters were still around during the cleanup, but all the Jewel-Osco managers could do was to ask them to be peaceful, as the damage had already been done.
“It’s kind of a sad thing to think about,” said William Wright, a resident living near the grocery store. “I take my grandma here every Sunday.”
For many people living near the Jewel-Osco, it was their only option for fresh, healthy foods. Because of the looters, Wright has resorted to purchasing food from McDonald’s and water from a nearby gas station.
Jewel-Osco isn’t the only grocery store that was ravaged. William Calloway, an activist and resident of Chicago’s South Side said that at least two other grocery stores near the Jewel-Osco were also looted. Because of this, people now have to either resort to unhealthy fast food or to go out of their way to get to a grocery store in a different neighborhood.
Emir Lions, another resident, said that this is problematic because a lot of people don’t have a car to easily travel to a different store, and some people don’t have any family or friends in the area they can call upon for help. Furthermore, many senior citizens in the South Side can’t easily travel.
A reporter from CBS 2 even witnessed senior citizens taking buses or walking several miles to bring home groceries they are carrying with their two hands.
Calloway remarked that, if Chicago’s South Side can’t get any help soon or if the situation doesn’t deescalate, the situation could get worse.
“If you have people that are hungry, that are quite angry already, that could escalate to something more disastrous,” said Calloway.
Democratic Alderman Leslie Hairston, who represents the neighborhood where the Jewel-Osco was looted, fears that many of the stores in her community won’t come back once the civil unrest dies down. (Related: Illinois man charged with attempting to INCITE RIOTING; Antifa hijacking peaceful protests to start riots and cause violence.)
Listen to this episode of the Health Ranger Report, a podcast by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, as he talks about how police officers who kneel before rioters are surrendering the United States to Antifa’s anarchy.
Since the rioting, looting and demonstrations in Chicago that began over the death of George Floyd, the Chicago Police Department has arrested more than 3,000 people – 2,665 arrests were made for “civil unrest and disorderly conduct” since May 29, while another 788 arrests have been made in connection to looting. During this same time, Superintendent of the CPD David Brown said that officers found and seized 529 guns.
Democratic Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot said that the CPD remains vigilant. She and other city officials agree that some organized criminal groups may be using the civil unrest as a cover to ramp up their illicit activities.
Despite his boss’ pessimism, Supt. Brown said that the data shows that the large-scale looting that followed the weekend after George Floyd’s death was over. “We’ve had several days of peaceful protests. Minimal arrests for disorderly conduct or civil unrest and looting,” he said.
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