Another Wilson giveaway: ‘Of course, I’m going to vote for him. Look who’s helping out.’

At yet another Willie Wilson giveaway on Wednesday, grocery shoppers praised the millionaire businessman and mayoral candidate, saying they would remember his charity at the voting booth next year.

SHARE Another Wilson giveaway: ‘Of course, I’m going to vote for him. Look who’s helping out.’
Mayoral candidate Willie Wilson greets customers and employees Wednesday at a Cermak Fresh Market in Belmont Gardens.

Mayoral candidate Willie Wilson greets customers and employees Wednesday at a Cermak Fresh Market in Belmont Gardens as he said he was handing out another $80,000 in groceries at multiple stores in Chicago.

Brian Rich/Sun-Times

Rosabel Brito grabbed a bag with a dozen limes Wednesday at a Cermak Fresh Market in Belmont Gardens and held them up for inspection.

“This is for all the basics,” the 57-year-old shopper said as she evaluated their quality.

In her hand, Brito held a paper gift card that read “Donated by Dr. Willie Wilson” — the millionaire businessman and mayoral candidate who handed out $80,000 in groceries on Wednesday.

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In addition to groceries, Wilson has held other giveaways this year, including for free gas as a way to help city residents who are struggling to keep their tanks full in the face of high oil prices.

He announced in April he would be running again for mayor to unseat Lori Lightfoot.

For Brito, the help buying her pantry staples was enough to ensure her vote for him.

“Of course I’m going to vote for him,” she said as she moved on to a bin of onions. “Look who’s helping out.”

Wilson said the funds for the giveaway came out of his foundation and not from his campaign. Still, the upcoming election was definitely on the minds of those receiving groceries on Wednesday.

“I voted for him last time, I’ll vote for him again,” Brenda Davis said as she shopped with her grandson.

The 58-year-old grandmother said she has taken advantage of multiple Wilson giveaways.

“I would vote for him 1,000 times, if I could,” 33-year-old Maria Urgilez said at the store while shopping with her husband and two children.

Her husband, Mellington Urgilez, agreed.

“Especially in a time of crisis, it’s fabulous,” the 42-year-old line cook said of the giveaway.

The two parents each received $25 gift cards with Wilson’s name printed on them.

A $25 gift card given to shoppers by businessman and mayoral candidate Willie Wilson at four Cermak Fresh Market grocery stores Wednesday as part of his latest giveaway.

A $25 gift card given to shoppers by businessman and mayoral candidate Willie Wilson at four Cermak Fresh Market grocery stores Wednesday as part of his latest giveaway.

Michael Loria/Sun-Times

Seemingly in response, Lightfoot has also gotten into the giveaway game, pushing her “Chicago Moves” program through the City Council, which will hand out 50,000 gas cards worth $150 each to Chicagoans.

For Brito, that’s too little, too late from the current mayor.

“They’re all taking about abortions, making promises they don’t keep,” she said about Lightfoot and other politicians already in office.

Brito said she likes Wilson because already he’s directly impacted her life in a tangible way and hopes that he’ll continue to offer help to Latino Chicagoans.

“The Hispanic vote counts,” she said.

Wilson also held grocery giveaways Wednesday in Little Village, Belmont Cragin and Rogers Park.

Wilson said that the giveaways were a way for him to reach out to the Latino community and said that he expected nothing in return.

He already has another gas giveaway planned for July 9 and promised there will still be more to come, claiming he’s already given away more than $2 million in gas and $500,000 in groceries.

“As long as my money can hold out, we’ll make it happen,” he said.

A sign Wednesday at a Cermak Fresh Market grocery store in Belmont Gardens announces Willie Wilson’s latest grocery giveaway.

A sign Wednesday at a Cermak Fresh Market grocery store in Belmont Gardens announces Willie Wilson’s latest grocery giveaway.

Brian Rich/Sun-Times

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