By Monika H.
In the Austin community on the West side of Chicago, there is only one grocery store named Leamington Foods located on Central Avenue and Madison Street.
No one seems to know why or how there is only one grocery store. This is really concerning for the Austin community because some of Leamington’s food isn’t always fresh, the prices are too high, and the store is not always clean.
Austin residents have to travel to a different area to get food that isn’t so expensive. Since there is only one grocery store around, the store owner takes advantage of it and makes the prices high. The Austin community could really use some more local food markets.
Ms. Holmes has been an Austin resident for 10 years, but she does not shop at Leamington.
“I don’t shop there because they’re too expensive. The store that we have overcharges for everything,” she said.
She said she would shop there if the prices were cheaper: “I want to support local business, but I’m not going to break myself to do it.”
When asked if she thinks there needs to be more grocery stores around, she said, “Yes, if we had more stores, the prices would be cheaper, the food would be fresher, and the stores would be cleaner.”
Other residents in Austin agrees.
Brenda Hampton is another Austin resident who also thinks it’s bad to have only one grocery store around. She feels that she spends too much money shopping at Leamington. She said if we had more grocery stores around, it would save all Austin residents more money.
When asked does she shop there she replied, “Yes, because I can’t go anywhere else.”
She doesn’t have a car, so it’s hard for her to get around. Lots of people have this problem and are forced to shop at Leamington. Ms. Hampton agreed there needs to be more grocery stores in the Austin community, “so people don’t have to spend more money on groceries than it should be.”
All people in Austin – the city’s most-populated neighborhood – are affected by this food desert. Some people could starve if they don’t have enough money to buy Leamington’s food. Without shopping somewhere else, people do not have the option to getting the fresh and healthy food they want and need.
Building more grocery stores could really help a lot, having more food markets could stir up competition and lead to low prices. Other things could help like not having food in Leamington expensive in order for people to get what they need. This store needs to have 100 percent fresh food; all stores should have fresh food. A lot of Austin residents depend on Leamington and are hoping for a change.