(Chicago, IL – July 18, 2022) The Chicago Region Food System Fund today awarded $1.52 million to 48 grantees as part of its continuing efforts to bolster Chicago’s local food system against systemic shocks like COVID-19 and ongoing economic upheaval.
This round of grants prioritizes projects that further cultivate existing community assets to aid in long-term food system transformation. Funding in this round focuses on two areas: building on the resources and capacity of individual organizations, and on strengthening partnerships between organizations and institutions across size, geography, and type that implement community-led food initiatives. With the grants announced today, the total support granted by the Fund is $11,438,150 to 156 non-profit organizations. Grant recipients announced today are:
- 65th & Woodlawn and Kumunda Gardens
- American Indian Center
- Artisan Grain Collaborative
- Best of Proviso Township Org.
- Boys & Girls Club of Lake County
- Brave Space Alliance
- Chicago Bread Club
- Chicago Community and Workers' Rights
- Chicago Food Policy Action Council
- Chicago Workers Collaborative
- Chicagoland Food Sovereignty Coalition
- Chinese American Service League
- Community Development Institute
- Cooperation Operation
- DeKalb County Community Gardens
- Eighteenth Street Development Corporation
- Elawa Farm Foundation
- First Baptist Church of Lake Forest
- First Corinthians Missionary Baptist Church
- Fuller Park Community Development
- Garfield Park Community Council
- Global Garden Refugee Training Farm
- Greater Chatham Initiative
- Grow Greater Englewood
- Health Policy Institute of Chicago
- I Hold Your Hand Because You Hold My Heart
- Inner City Muslin Action Network
- Just Roots
- Little Village Community Foundation
- Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
- Mano a Mano Family Resource Center
- New Life Baptist Church of Chicago
- NWI Food Council
- PS Its Social
- Puerto Rican Cultural Center
- Save The Hampton House
- Street Vendors Association of Chicago
- TCA Health, Inc.
- The #LetUsBreathe Collective
- The Chicago Lawn United Methodist Church
- The Flow Foundation Inc
- The GardenWorks Project
- TRUC Ministries
- Warehouse Workers Justice Center
- We Sow We Grow Project
- Windsor Park Lutheran Church
Project descriptions follow at the end of this release.
“In focusing this round of funding on the extraordinary array of community assets in Chicago’s local food system, the Fund is investing in resources that our neighbors use to keep our communities resilient,” said Jack Westwood, Program Director, Environmental Sustainability at the Walder Foundation. “While we could fund less than a tenth of the total amount requested in this round, the applications represent an amazing inventory of resilient food system assets. There is so much to build on.“
Originally planned as a series of grant rounds in 2020 and early 2021, the Chicago Region Food Fund will continue its grantmaking throughout 2022. The Chicago Region Food System Fund focuses on COVID-19 related response and building resilience in the local food system, an area approximately 200 miles from Chicago. Priority has been given to organizations producing food in, and supplying food to, communities of color. Fresh Taste, fiscally sponsored by Forefront, manages the Fund.
Major funders of this round of the Chicago Region Food System Fund are Builders Initiative, Crown Family Philanthropies, Food:Land:Opportunity (funded through the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust), Fresh Taste, Little Owl Foundation, The Lumpkin Family Foundation, Margot L. Pritzker Fund, Walder Foundation, and Walter Mander Foundation. The Fund welcomes additional support. Visit ChicagoRegionFoodFund.org for more information.
The Chicago Region Food System Fund Steering Committee includes six community representatives and three funder representatives. The Steering Committee comprises Lenore Beyer, Dion Dawson, Dan Kenney, Haven Leeming, Jose Oliva, Gina Roxas, Alexandra Sossa, Janelle St. John, and Jack Westwood.
Fresh Taste is a collaborative funder initiative committed to racial and economic equity and focused on changing the way food is grown, processed, distributed, and consumed in the Chicago region to promote healthy land, healthy people, and healthy communities. Fresh Taste’s vision is that residents of the Chicago region eat local fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat, and dairy products produced through regenerative agriculture and brought to tables by local businesses.
Forefront is Illinois' membership association for nonprofits, grantmakers, advisors, public agencies, and their allies. They provide education, advocacy, thought leadership, and facilitate collective action around issues that are important to its members and to the sector. Forefront oversees and is responsible for all financial and legal activities of Fresh Taste.