WBEZ | Walgreen's http://www.wbez.org/tags/walgreens-0 Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Michelle Obama talks healthy food on South Side http://www.wbez.org/story/michelle-obama-talks-healthy-food-south-side-93470 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-25/014.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>First Lady Michelle Obama returned to her native South Side Chicago on Tuesday to promote her initiatives on healthy eating for children as well as her quest to eliminate food deserts.</p><p>Obama stopped by a refashioned Walgreens on 75<sup>th</sup> and State Street. Last year the chain started stocking its shelves with fresh fruits and vegetables in neighborhoods where crisp produce is scarce. Often, such food deserts either lack healthy stores or are home to stores where processed and junk foods prevail.</p><p>The First Lady said the issue of food deserts speaks directly to her.</p><p>“I saw this growing up in my own community,” said Obama, who grew up in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood. “Starting out with wonderful grocery stores but slowly, but surely, as the economies changed, many of these resources just disappeared into thin air. This is true for so many communities across the country. This just isn’t happening in Chicago or on the South Side.</p><p>“If folks want to buy a head of lettuce for a salad or some fruit for their kids’ lunch, they’d have to take two or three buses to do it.”</p><p>Obama invested time and considerable political capital in a program called “Let’s Move,” which aims to reduce childhood obesity.</p><p>Her visit coincides with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s daylong food access summit. Mayors from around the country gathered in Chicago to explore best practices to expand fresh food in underserved communities.</p><p>The summit wasn’t open to the public.</p><p>Emanuel said on Tuesday that 17 new chain stores will be opening on the city’s South and West Sides. They include Save-A-Lot, Roundy’s, Wal-Mart and Aldi. Some of these stores have been in the works. In addition, 19 expanded Walgreens will include fresh food.</p><p>The mayor said new stores are opening on blighted property.</p><p>“What was an eyesore is now an economic opportunity and job creator in our community,” Emanuel said.</p><p>But some Chicago food justice advocates aren’t convinced that chains or big-box stores are the food desert corrective. A group known as Advocates of Urban Agriculture sent a letter to Emanuel on Tuesday that ties food deserts to historic disinvestment in neighborhoods. To the advocates, the issue is just as much economic as it is about good eating.</p><p>“The ‘solution’ to ‘food deserts’ requires attention to and investment in local, neighborhood-based ownership of food enterprises. This includes a full spectrum of activities, from all scales of food production through processing, distribution, and sales, inclusive of the associated goods and services that accompany a full-fledged food economy. A rich, textured, and comprehensive economy will grow the health and wealth of people in their neighborhoods,” the letter said.</p><p>Specifically, the group wants the mayor to hire a food system and enterprise coordinator, work with a Chicago food council and direct healthy food funds to neighborhood-based business owners.</p><p>Emanuel said his food desert plan is comprehensive. He said Walgreens and Aldi have signed a memorandum of understanding to sell locally grown produce from Growing Power, a South Side urban farm.</p><p>This fall, the Chicago City Council passed Emanuel’s urban agriculture ordinance, which strips the red tape from city farming. More farms are starting to open.</p><p>On Tuesday morning, a former contaminated park in Little Village opened as a repurposed organic farm.</p></p> Tue, 25 Oct 2011 16:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/michelle-obama-talks-healthy-food-south-side-93470 Walgreen plans to expand Chicago produce stores http://www.wbez.org/story/walgreen-plans-expand-chicago-produce-stores-88517 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-29/96794700.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Walgreen Co. said Wednesday that by the end of 2013, it plans to have close to 50 Chicago stores with large offerings of fresh fruit and vegetables and other groceries.&nbsp;</p><p>Walgreen plans to open the stores in communities that don't have many options for fresh produce. It also plans to remodel many of its 142 locations in the city and open at least five new stores.&nbsp;</p><p>It said the plans will add around 600 jobs, half of which will come from the new and remodeled stores, and half from greater office space for e-commerce, information technology, and other areas.</p><p>The Deerfield, Ill., company remodeled 10 stores in 2010, adding about 750 new food items like fresh fruit and vegetables, frozen meats and fish, pasta, rice, beans, eggs, and whole grain cereal. It currently has 11 of those stores in Chicago. Walgreen said it will approximately double the number of locations in 2012 and do the same in 2013.</p><p>Walgreen said it has about 4,500 employees in Chicago. As of Aug. 31, the end of its latest fiscal year, it had about 244,000 total employees. It runs 7,715 stores, making it the biggest drugstore chain in the U.S.&nbsp;</p><p>In morning trading, Walgreen stock gained 44 cents to $42.02.</p></p> Wed, 29 Jun 2011 16:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/walgreen-plans-expand-chicago-produce-stores-88517 Barack's neighbors rev up for 2012 http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-06-24/baracks-neighbors-rev-2012-88265 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-June/2011-06-23/2011 001.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-23/2011 001.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 389px;" title="Volunteers came up with a plan (Photo by Achy Obejas)"></p><p>About 30 of Barack Obama’s neighbors gathered at the Hyde Park Treasure Island Wednesday night, deliberately ignoring his big Afghanistan speech, to take on a much bigger task. Huddled in the downstairs community room, they separated into four smaller groups to break down their project into manageable bites: phone banks, canvassing, signs and other such down-to-the-ground matters; one group came up with a slogan: “I’m in.”</p><p>It was the first meeting of the Obama Campaign Grassroots Planning Sessions, or the Obama GPS, in the president’s home neighborhood, just a few steps from the 55<sup>th</sup> Street Walgreen’s where he was once a common late night cigarette buyer, back in the day when he smoked and went places alone.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-23/2011 040.JPG" style="width: 300px; height: 400px; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="Wallace E. Goode, Jr listens (Photo by Achy Obejas)"></p><p>Folks had found their way here because they had some grassroots tie to the 2008 election: they were former volunteers, or referred by a volunteer, or they’d taken the initiative to find the meeting on the campaign website or via some other means. It was an open meeting, though – no one was turned away. The room was mostly African-American, and mostly middle-aged, but with a good-sized clique of mostly white kids from the University of Chicago. There was, of course, pizza and pop, campaign paraphernalia, lots of clapping and laughter. Speeches were short, peppy, more cheerleading than political.</p><p>In the crowd, Wallace E. Goode, Jr., listened and applauded with vigor to suggestions and declarations. He’d voted for Obama in 2008 and even donated but he wants to do more this time.</p><p>“I’ll canvas, I’ll phone bank,” he said, “but we’ll see where they need me.”</p><p>Yes, he thinks the president is taking the country in the right direction, but he’s got a bigger reason for participating.</p><p>“I have a 13 year-old son I want to be involved, to experience history for himself,” he says. “We have great pictures from Grant Park (in 2008) when he was 9, but this year he’s going to have to work a bit to earn that for himself.”</p><p>Just before concluding the meeting, one of the organizers announced that the president had given "a very good speech." Folks turned to her for a minute, nodded, then turned back to their tasks.</p></p> Fri, 24 Jun 2011 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-06-24/baracks-neighbors-rev-2012-88265