Edwardsville Lacks Food Diversity, Students Hope for Change

Anna Kutz, Life Editor

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College towns are known for their vibrant colors, diverse cultures and booming downtowns. Edwardsville never got the memo.

 

Edwardsville is home to one branch of Southern Illinois University, making it logical for expansions in food and fashion businesses. But there is a clear distinction between Edwardsville and the college’s other location.

 

While Carbondale is a college town, Edwardsville is a town with a college.

 

This vital difference leads to one thing: the food court delicacies and campus necessities don’t translate over to the entire surrounding area. Instead, Edwardsville has repeats of the same boring places: two McDonald’s, two Dairy Queens, soon-to-be two Starbucks and more than enough banks.

 

In an average college town, these would be centrally located, and there would be no need for so many of the same places. They would be downtown, near campus, and these facilities would be used by college students and residents alike.

 

Instead, Edwardsville is stuck with over ten banks and repeated fast food joints. Local teens aren’t too happy with this — they want variety.

 

While Edwardsville does boast Thai, Korean and Italian restaurants, along with a wide selection of Mexican and Chinese eateries, for local teens it’s still lacking.

 

Senior Amal Tamari wants Ethiopian food, bubble tea, and Middle Eastern cuisine to come soon.

 

Her logic is simple: instead of doubling up on subpar food, diversity and quality is needed.

 

“I think the more options, the better,” Tamari said.

 

Other students are fine with the spread that Edwardsville has accumulated, but they would prefer to add different chain restaurants to the town. Senior Clara Dawson expressed her interest in a Chipotle, and countless other students have been waiting for Chick-Fil-A for years.

 

However, it’s impossible to know for certain if Edwardsville will get any of these new additions, but it doesn’t stop students from wishing. Tamari, who plans to go to college in Chicago, hopes that Edwardsville businesses could take after the windy city one day.

 

“Chicago has all the food I could ever want,” Tamari said. “I think diversity like Chicago (for Edwardsville) would be great.”

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Edwardsville Lacks Food Diversity, Students Hope for Change