Farmers Markets Coming to Chicago’s West Side

If you’ve been reading our blog, you are aware that Mari Gallagher (who coined the term “food desert” to refer  to locations where it’s harder to find fresh produce and other healthy options than fast food or processed goods in a landmark 2006 study that revealed as many as 650,000 Chicagoans were then living without easy access to healthy food) recently spoke at Roosevelt University about the continuing issue.  Late last month, the City of Chicago announced the addition of more farmers markets to help increase access to healthy foods.

In addition to selling fresh fruits and vegetables, the markets will feature on-site demonstrations on how to eat right, cook healthy meals and plant herbs and gardens. Arts, music and community programming will also be offered.

In a news release announcing the new markets, [Mayor] Emanuel said he is determined to bring “healthy options” to neighborhoods “underserved by traditional” grocery stores.

“It is unacceptable that nearly 400,000 Chicagoans do not have access to healthy, fresh food for their families. … These farmers markets are a piece of a comprehensive plan to take food deserts off the map in our city,” the mayor was quoted as saying.

The five new markets bring the citywide total to more than 20.

They will be held at: Healing Temple Church, 4941 W. Chicago, from 2 to 6 p.m. Sundays June 24 to Oct. 28; Columbus Park at Harrison and Central from 1 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays June 26 to Oct. 30; LaFollette Park at Hirsch and Laramie from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays June 20 to Oct. 24; Austin Town Center at Lake and Central from 1 to 7 p.m. Thursdays June 28 to Oct. 25 and at Mount Ebenezer Baptist Church, 3555 W. Huron, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays June 30 to Oct. 27.

Local efforts to develop agriculture are both directly aided by and discussed in the seminar SUST 230 Food (offered online this summer). For more information on this or any other of our courses, please visit our Sustainability Studies website, call 1-877-277-5978 (1-877-APPLY RU) or email

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