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The Chicago Region Food System Fund awarded $725,750 to non-profit organizations responding to = the impacts of COVID-19 on Chicago region communities and the local food economy. Second round grant recipients are:

  • Advocates for Urban Agriculture, $80,250

  • American Indian= Center, $30,000

  • Blue Island Citizens for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities, $20,000

  • Experimental Station, $100,000

  • Faith in Place, $100,000

  • The GardenWorks Project, $5,000

  • Little Village Community Foundation, $96,000

  • New Macedonia MB Church, $12,000

  • Opportunity Knocks, $8,500

  • Sisters Working It Out, $75,000

  • Star Farm Chicago, $28,000

  • Telpochcalli Community Education Project, $21,000

  • The Trotter Project, $150,000

Sisters Working It Out (SWIO) will distribute food and PPE to 500 homeless cancer survivors and other vulnerable individuals experiencing food insecurity due to COVID-19 and/or recent grocery store closures on Chicago's South Side. The food is from local grocers and farmers markets.

The open call round, focused on immediate COVID-19 response, continues until July 29, and g= rants will be awarded on a rolling basis into August. Later in 2020, the Fund will shift its focus to long-term work toward a resilient, racially and = economically just local food system. With an investment of over $4.7M, the Chicago Region Food System Fund focuses on hunger = and business disruption in the local food system from production to processing to distribution to consumption in an area approximately 200 miles from Chicago (about a days drive to/from the city). Priority will be given to organizations producing food in, and supplying food to, communities of color. Fresh Taste, fiscally sponsored by Forefront, manages the Fund.
Seeing organizations that previously wouldn't have considered themselves to be working on the food system stepping in to grow, prepare, and deliver food, said Karen Lehman, Director, Fresh Taste, and Chicago Region Food System Fund manager. At the same time,  organizations already strong in local food work are expanding their reach. They are literally saving lives as well as strengthening their communities. 


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