My friend M., a Muslim living in Chicago, sent me this link to this incredible Chicago Public Radio story about inner city neighborhoods in Chicago (and just about every other city nationwide) with no access to fresh food where the only place to get any food is the local liquor store. This is fantastic commentary on the broad-based effect that lack of food (and I don’t count spicy Cheetos as food) has on a neighborhood. This radio clip also delves into the tensions between the (sometimes overlapping) Muslim and African American communities here and finding ways to creatively make strong, healthy, and healthful corner stores and corner store culture in neighborhoods like this one.
Also check out this music video by rapper Mickey Halsted called “Liquor Store.” It’s mentioned in the link above but is definitely worth checking out all on its own.
Also make sure to visit IMAN, the Inner City Muslim Action Network. They are doing absolutely fantastic work around food deserts in Chicago as well as tackling a host of other important issues.