CHICAGO — The number of low-income Chicagoans living in "food deserts" and lacking quality food options nearby declined by about 20 percent in the past two years, the mayor's office said.
The city defines a "food desert" as a census tract that is located more than one mile from a food establishment that is larger than 10,00 square feet. Such a designation excludes gas stations and fast food restaurants.
In June, 100,159 residents were living in such areas compared with 79,434 today, according to data compiled by the Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development.
In addition to 15 new stores opening across the city, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office said other developments have helped provide nutritional food options in low-income areas. Those include the licensing of 14 produce carts, half of which are in low food access areas, and five West Side farmers markets.