Chicago residents left scrambling for medications and essentials as looted pharmacies, grocery stores remain closed

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Several Chicago pharmacies and grocery stores were damaged in this weekend's unrest leaving many of them shutdown indefinitely.

Residents, already hit hard by the Governor's stay-at-home order are now having a difficult time meeting their most basic needs.

"Just everything, my blood pressure, my pain medication, my statin," said Norma Bradley.

The 77-year-old lives across the street from the Walgreens on 79th Street and Racine in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood.

It was severely damaged, along with several other businesses in this weekend's lootings.

That store along with seven other Walgreens within a 3-mile radius remain closed.

"We have three senior houses right here within walking distance and this is the only way they can get to that medicine," said Auburn-Gresham resident Betty Swanson.

The worry now is that chains like Walmart and Whole Foods will not want to reopen in neighborhoods already considered food deserts.

"If you shut down those few stores that are in the community, how long can people go on with that?" asked Father Michael Pfleger of the nearby St. Sabina Catholic Church.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday, the city will provide police protection to grocery stores and pharmacies as they begin to restock and rebuild.

The city is also working with both CVS and Walgreens to provide alternatives to customers needing to fill their prescriptions.
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