Drive-thru grocery giveaway on South Side held after Aldi's sudden closure

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Wednesday, July 13, 2022
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A drive-up food pantry distributed free food to hundreds of people on Chicago's South Side Wednesday after a nearby Aldi closed suddenly.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A drive-up food pantry distributed free food to hundreds of people on Chicago's South Side Wednesday.

Jimmy King Jr., 68, was first in line as dozens took part in the grocery giveaway sponsored by Ada S. McKinley Community Services.

"The way the inflation and the economic times are, everybody needs help," he said.

SEE ALSO | Aldi abruptly closes Auburn Gresham store due to crime, poor sales, spokesperson says

"Everything is so expensive now, so it makes a difference," neighborhood resident Joyce Jordan added.

McKinley CEO Jamal Malone said the giveaway is in response to the sudden shuttering of the Aldi store on Ashland and the announced closing of Whole Foods in the Englewood neighborhood.

"So with those two stores recently closing, you can see the cars lined up around the corner, walk-ins standing getting ready to line up," Malone said.

SEE ALSO | Whole Foods closing Englewood store 6 years after opening was celebrated in Chicago 'food desert'

Organizers say their pop-up also addresses the food insecurity many Black and brown neighborhoods continue to experience and will off-set escalating food costs.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows in June, the national average cost for a dozen large eggs is $2.71. That's up 65% from last year, while a loaf of bread also saw an increase of 12%.

The food items were donated by a nearly Aldi store and Go Green Fresh Grocer. Each of the 250 bags of groceries, which were given out on a first-come, first-served basis, contained fresh fruits and vegetables and more.

The organization said that with the need being so great, they fully anticipate doing this again.