Chicago's Mayor, Brandon Johnson, has announced a pioneering partnership with the Economic Security Project, aiming to establish a municipally owned grocery store to aid historically disadvantaged communities. Mayor Johnson stated in a press release, "All Chicagoans deserve to live near convenient, affordable, healthy grocery options. We know access to grocery stores is already a challenge for many residents, especially on the South and West sides." He further emphasized his administration's commitment to innovative, government-wide approaches to address these disparities. The Mayor's vision of a stronger, safer future is one where the city's youth and communities have access to essential resources for their prosperity. "I am proud to work alongside partners to take this step in envisioning what a municipally owned grocery store in Chicago could look like," he added. The press release highlighted the initiative's goal to foster "food equity." It cited U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates, revealing that 63.5% of West Englewood residents and 52% of East Garfield Park inhabitants live more than half a mile from their nearest grocery store. In contrast, less than 1% of West Town residents face this barrier to food access. [tweet_embed]September 18, 2023[/tweet_embed] If realized, this initiative would position Chicago as the first major U.S. city to introduce a government-owned grocery store to combat "food inequity," as per the release. Ameya Pawar, a senior advisor at the Economic Security Project, stated, “The City of Chicago is reimagining the role government can play in our lives by exploring a public option for grocery stores via a municipally owned grocery store and market.” He drew parallels between the proposed grocery store and public services like libraries or the postal service, suggesting that a public option could offer economic choice and power to communities. [tweet_embed]September 18, 2023[/tweet_embed] Pawar further noted, "A City-owned grocery store in the South or West side of Chicago would be a viable way to restore access to healthy food in areas that have suffered from historic and systemic disinvestment." The administration has reportedly initiated a feasibility study to determine the potential success of the new store.