Funded projects

Grants • Learning and Evaluation Investments

Dream Distributors

Dream Distributors is developing a local food aggregation and processing hub in Kane County with the support of Kane County Planning and Development and Seven Generations Ahead. The privately operated food hub will aggregate produce for wholesale purchasers; process produce for schools and other institutions; expand a farm-to-institution program to educate young people about nutrition; and work directly with the region’s farmers to coordinate crop planning and harvesting. Initial funding provided support for planning and launch activities, including the purchase of food processing machinery. More recent funding will support several readiness programs: training for farmers on food safety and organic certification so that they may sell to wholesale and institutional buyers; training for institutional buyers on how to purchase from local food farmers through the Dream Hub, including kitchen equipment audits and a “farm-to-cafeteria” workshop on scratch cooking and local sourcing; and technical guidance and professional consulting services for food hub operators to develop financially sound and actionable business plans. Dream Hub is expected to produce over $2 million in revenue for local farmers, maintain up to 850 acres of agricultural land and have a total economic benefit of $5.9 million.

Read more about food hubs.




The Good Food Partners Community Food Hub was a finalist in the Food to Market Challenge. Once the project team recruited an independent operator, the food hub enterprise adopted the name Dream Distributors, a subsidiary of Dream Hub, based in Elgin, IL. The Challenge inspired many creative and compelling projects to address the supply chain practices that limit the creation of a resilient local food system. In addition to the top award, Food:Land:Opportunity created a special grant to recognize and support the four finalist teams.


This project supports these strategic goals:


  • Equip farmers and food entrepreneurs with necessary skills.
  • Grow networks of farmers.
  • Grow networks of supply chain players.
  • Disseminate learning to position Chicago as a national model.
  • Incentivize innovation to address systemic problems.

Partners

Dream Distributors

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New Venture Advisors

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Kane County

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Seven Generations Ahead

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Heritage Prairie Farm

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Klein's Quality Produce

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Alsum Farms and Produce

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Wiltse's Farm

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FamilyFarmed

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Contact

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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