South Side residents worried about food, medicine availability after looting

Cars lined up Tuesday for a food giveaway in the Woodlawn neighborhood.

Members of the Apostolic Church of God handed boxes of food to families in need at 63rd and Dorchester. The giveaway was originally supposed to end last week, but the church extended it to today and next Tuesday.

The giveaways started because of the coronavirus, but now that looters have destroyed hundreds of grocers and pharmacies, there are even more concerns for families in need.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she and Illinois’ junior United States senator are working with two giant national chains to supply medicine and food where the usual sources have been forced to shut down.

“I have to commend Senator Duckworth, who's really been on the case with Walgreens and CVS. And we believe we're gonna be able to provide some mobile alternatives. We're again working with our food pantries and restaurants to get up and running so we can feed people. This is a big huge effort. We are on it,” Lightfoot said.

The South Side's 21st Ward is all too typical of what has happened in some neighborhoods. Pete's Produce, a small store on 87th Street, remains open despite two attacks by would-be looters. But they did ransack and shut down all five of the other grocery stores in the community, including the Jewel Osco on 95th Street, creating long lines at Pete’s.

“They tore up all the pharmacies, too. So they gonna have to find somewhere to go,” one woman said.

“Man, that's messed up. That's truly messed up! Where we gonna go now? There ain't nothin' in the neighborhood,” another woman added.

Alderman Howard Brookins would welcome temporary sources of medicine and food for his Ward, but hopes the big national chains commit to a quick rebuilding and reopening.

“It appears some of the stores were not hurt as bad as other stores. But the main thing are the pharmacies and grocery and food stores are what are critically needed in our community,” Brookins said.

Multiple sources say we will see more on that very soon.