Funded projects

Grants • Learning and Evaluation Investments

Food to Market Challenge

$500,000 award to the multidisciplinary team that designs the most innovative solution to re-conceive supply chain practices that today limit scale of the local food market.

Meet Team Leverage!

Team Leverage: Bringing it Home

Access to local, sustainably produced food is limited by the many inefficiencies that exist in the current supply chain. Food producers are particularly challenged to reach populations in underserved communities, where access to grocery stores and healthy food markets is limited. The result: farmers and their consumers never connect. Team Leverage looks to solve this problem by connecting a local farm network with two Chicago companies that currently move local food into schools. The solution leverages existing customers, partners, a distribution system, and a technology platform to create a lasting, sustainable supply chain between those who produce local, healthy foods and the consumers who want to purchase them.

Englewood Land Access Project

This is one of two projects in Englewood designed to increase the number of Englewood community members who are eligible and qualified to access and farm on land within the Englewood Urban Agriculture Zone by investigating cooperative business models that include land tenure agreements and identifying appropriate parcels for farming.

Eat to Live Incubator Farm

This is one of two projects in Englewood designed to increase the number of Englewood community members who are eligible and qualified to access and farm on land within the Englewood Urban Agriculture Zone by supporting capacity-building of Grow Greater Englewood and programming for the Eat to Live Incubator Farm.

Land Access Pilot Project

Over the course of three years, this project will investigate and demonstrate scalable models for land acquisition and tenure for sustainable agriculture in peri-urban settings.

Good Food Business Accelerator

This project provides selected Fellows with mentoring, strategic support, and access to capital to launch and expand profitable Good Food businesses.

Routes 2 Farm

This project will expand and link existing growers networks and alliances in order to more efficiently distribute information about training programs and sources of capital.

Food Scrap Compost Market-building

This project supports goals to enhance Illinois water quality, conserve water, build healthy soil, reduce erosion and lessen greenhouse gas emissions. The project also will create demand for food scraps through education, policy and pilot projects, while driving infrastructure development and targeted investments. Short-term goals include educating decision-makers on the benefits of composting, its role in local, sustainable food production and strategies to build the industry; making the economic and local foodshed development case for composting; and laying the groundwork for food scrap collection route density with businesses: Stroger Hospital, Chicago Public Schools and the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Strategic Learning and Evaluation Framework

Rooted in the initiative’s Theory of Change, Food:Land:Opportunity will pursue ongoing learning, evaluation, and research activities to adapt to the changing needs of the field, measure the effectiveness of the initiative’s interventions, and broadly distribute findings in order to contribute to positive systemic change.

Supply-side Food Systems Study

This study will inventory existing local food market conditions to prepare for developing an economic model to assess the Chicago region’s capacity for supplying more local food. A report on phase 1 of this study is expected to deliver in June 2016.


Contact program staff or sign up to receive email updates.

Kinship Foundation

Lenore Beyer
Director of Conservation Programs

The Chicago Community Trust

Michael Davidson
Senior Program Officer

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