The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Englewood Whole Foods Closing

May 9, 2022

Whole Foods announced two weeks back that it will be closing its Englewood store. Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s previous mayor, welcomed this Whole Foods with much fanfare just six years ago. Englewood, a working class black neighborhood, has long been a so-called “food desert”—that is, a place with few grocery stores where working people can get food, especially healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.

Whole Foods was skeptical about opening there, but Emanuel gave 10.7 million dollars in TIF funds to upgrade the space, and the store received 13.5 million in federal tax credits. Amazon took over Whole Foods in 2018. Their management never committed to maintaining the store.

Working people in all of Chicago’s neighborhoods need to be able to buy food—healthy food, and at affordable prices. Emanuel’s Whole Foods was a political showpiece. It was a drop in the bucket, compared to the need in the city. Said one resident, "They said they were going to have lower prices for Englewood but they didn’t make that promise real."