Gentrification, Whole Foods, and Food Deserts

The supermarket hired 40 of its 100 employees from the neighborhood. It provided a venue for more than 40 local vendors to sell their goods. The arrival of the grocer, which many refer to as the “whole paycheck store” due to its high prices, had some immediate upsides. Yet there is more to the story.

It seems rather unexpected that a grocery chain that’s been labeled as a place where one goes to spend their entire earnings would enter into a low-income neighborhood. Englewood, Chicago has the highest percentage of households living in poverty in the state. It ranks fifth in economic hardship out of Chicago’s 77 community areas. With those statistics, adding a store where a carton of milk goes for $6.49 just doesn’t make sense.

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