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Michelle Obama Supports Mayor Emanuel's Fight Against Food Deserts

By Soyoung Kwak in News on Oct 9, 2011 4:00PM

Photo of First Lady Michelle Obama from the White House website.
There is some progress and attention coming to Mayor Emanuel's campaign to address the problems of food deserts within Chicago's various neighborhoods. We heard that Save-a-Lot food stores were opening up in areas where there is no immediate access to fresh and affordable groceries earlier this year, and Mayor Emanuel's efforts will bring First Lady Michelle Obama to Illinois to advocate the mayor's cause.

Here at the Chicagoist, we are no strangers to the negative effects of food deserts. During the economic recession, it is even more imperative that people with food insecurity are met with viable access to affordable and nutritious groceries. Helping to reduce or eliminate food deserts would definitely improve the level of food insecurity that is creeping around neighborhoods like Englewood and Burnside. By tying in his campaign against food deserts with Michelle Obama's own "Let's Move!" campaign, Mayor Emanuel's efforts will be boosted by the First Lady's participation in a food summit Mayor Emanuel is presiding over on October 25.

What sort of topics will be discussed at the summit, where there will be CEOs from major grocery store chains? Anything and everything related to food issues, according to Mayor Emanuel: “

We intend to share ideas on how to deal with this both from an economic-development, job-growth and public-health standpoint. Six or seven months ago we were exploring this. We’ve gone from the back of the pack to one of the top cities at the front of the pack,” he said.

The food access summit will begin at City Hall and hopes to be a great starting point for not only residents of Chicago but also people from all over the country to focus on the persistent problem of food deserts and its connection to making healthy lifestyle choices.