DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens has signed on to convert or open at least 1,000 stores across the country using its food oasis concept over the next five years as part of First Lady Michelle Obama's and the Partnership for a Healthier America's recent announcement to bring healthy, affordable food to nearly 10 million people during that time period.
Walgreens since last year has opened food oasis stores in such major markets as Chicago and San Francisco. The stores expanded their food selection by up to 60%, offering a larger assortment of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and other healthy meal components to help address the need for greater access to affordable, nutritious food.
“With more than 45% of our stores located in areas that don't have access to fresh food, Walgreens is uniquely positioned to bring more food options to Americans, and also [to] provide needed pharmacy, health and wellness services directly in those communities,” Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson said. “Joining with the Partnership for a Healthier America, we plan to convert or open at least 1,000 food oasis stores across the country over the next five years.”
Walgreens is one of several retailers that have signed on to combat food deserts. Other retailers include Supervalu and Walmart, as well as Brown’s Super Stores, Calhoun Enterprises and Klein’s Family Markets.