aldi closing 110821CHICAGO – Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) is outraged after the Aldi in West Garfield Park abruptly closed in October, and is worried about resident’s wellbeing in lieu of the West Side becoming a food desert.

“This closure is devastating to the community because a lot of people depended on this Aldi for convenient and affordable food,” Van Pelt said. “In particular, many older residents got their groceries from here. This is not just an affordability issue, but a mobility issue as well.”

In Chicago, more than 500,000 residents – most who are African-American – live in food deserts, while an additional 400,000 live in neighborhoods with an abundance of fast food restaurants and no grocery stores nearby.

With the closure of Aldi, West Garfield Park now has one grocery store: Save-A-Lot.

“This lack of resources available to this neighborhood is unacceptable,” Van Pelt said. “While there have been emergency food distributions in the area, there needs to be a long-term solution, and I will work to ensure West Garfield has food more readily available as soon as possible.”

The emergency food distribution is expected to continue in the former Aldi’s store for the next few weeks.

Life expectancy is 14 years shorter for residents of the area than for people living in the Loop.