CHICAGO – A guide to retail stores in the Chicago area that are authorized to accept federal food assistance money but may not be providing nutritious food options was released by food-desert research firm Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting Group here.
The study — the Chicago Food Desert SNAP Drilldown Addendum — lists retailers that participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program, within a half-mile radius of 15 high-profile locations around Chicago. It is designed to help Chicago residents identify SNAP stores and vet the nutritional quality of their offerings.
The report stems from Gallagher’s research into whether SNAP funding is being spent to ensure that low-income Americans have access to nutritious food items and not just junk food.
“SNAP is an extremely important program that should not only continue but expand,” Gallagher said in the report. “Many fine stores participate in SNAP. However, many others fail to meet the low standards set by government.”
The 15 locations used in the study include the homes of President Barack Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and the district offices of U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush and State Sen. Jacqueline Collins.