The Go Green Community Fresh Market opened in Englewood on the corner of 63rd and Racine in March 2022. Food insecurity and the lack of access to fresh food and produce continue to challenge Black and brown communities across Chicagoland. According to a 2020 study published by the American Heart Association, limited access to fresh food in communities plagued with higher rates of obesity and diseases contributes to higher death rates. Residents in communities like Englewood have life expectancy rates that are 30 years shorter than their downtown counterparts according to Go Green on Racine. Food insecurity also affects one’s mental health, with poor diet often linked to mental illnesses like depression, and anxiety.
Neighborhoods like Englewood also suffer economically. Communities that lack grocery stores often force residents and their dollars out of the community. Go Green on Racine says the Englewood community in Chicago sees up to $55M in grocery dollars leave the neighborhood each year due to a lack of quality and affordable options. The Go Green Community Fresh Market is a model corner grocery store, building power in the neighborhood as an economic tool for the community. The new store is part of the Go Green on Racine Project which is a multi-development plan meant to revitalize the local economy, increase local resources, and enhance the overall quality of life for their local residents.
The Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN)opened the Go Green Community Fresh Market which serves as an alternative to traditional neighborhood corner stores. Its inventory of fresh produce, halal, vegan, and gluten-free foods reflects the company’s commitment to health, wellness, healing, and increased food access. In addition, urban farmers, local food vendors, and entrepreneurs can sell their products through the market, which will also feature a food kiosk with an in-house chef and wellness classes.
“The opening of the Go Green Community Fresh Market is the culmination of IMAN’s 25-year journey,” said Alia Bilal, Deputy Executive Director of IMAN. “We have always been committed to food justice, building strong networks of food systems, and increasing access to healthy food. The Go Green Community Fresh Market is what food justice looks like.
The Chicago Defender spoke with members of IMAN about the new store in Englewood and how they are turning the traditional corner store model upside down.
The Go Green Community Fresh Market is located at 1207 W. 63rd Street in Chicago. For more information on the market and the Go Green on Racine project visit, www.gogreenonracine.org