Deerfield, Ill. -- First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday toured a Walgreens store on Chicago’s South Side to view the company’s efforts to fight the childhood obesity epidemic and provide better food options and accessible health care to under-served communities.
The event was part of a mayoral summit hosted by the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Mrs. Obama visited the same Walgreens store that earlier this year expanded its food offering to include produce and other basic grocery staples. Prior to the store’s expansion, there wasn’t a convenient location in the community to access these types of healthy food options. The store is one of a dozen Walgreens locations in Chicago neighborhoods identified as food deserts that act as food oasis stores. These stores increased their food selection by up to 60%.
As part of her Let’s Move! initiative, Mrs. Obama has focused on the issue of access to healthy, affordable food as a key pillar of her fight to end childhood obesity within a generation.
“Imagine what we could achieve if mayors across the country started taking on this issue,” said Mrs. Obama. “Think about all the jobs we could create, all the neighborhoods we could begin to transform and what it means when our children finally get the nutrition they need to grow up healthy.”
“Walgreens is in a great position to be a true community resource as a retail health and daily living destination,” said Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson. “In communities like this, we are the healthcare hub with access to prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, expanded health care services such as medication counseling, clinic services and health testing, and daily living needs that include healthy food choices.”