By Oren Oppenheim, The Chicago Maroon
This past April, the Chicago chapter of Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) capped off a series of redevelopments in Woodlawn with the announcement that a Jewel-Osco supermarket will open in 2019 on the corner of East 61st Street and South Cottage Grove Avenue.
Located just south of UChicago, the upcoming 48,000-square-foot store and pharmacy is “expected to create more than 200 jobs,” according to a statement to The Maroon from a representative of Jewel-Osco. According to the supermarket chain’s website, Jewel-Osco currently runs 187 stores throughout Chicagoland, Indiana, and Iowa.
More significantly, POAH’s achievement will end Woodlawn’s colloquial status as a food desert. According to the American Nutrition Association, food deserts “are defined as parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers.” A variety of factors, including distance from grocery stores and types of food (e.g. fresh or not) offered at stores, play into what designates an area as a food desert.