Funded projects

Grants • Learning and Evaluation Investments

Fresh Picks Farmer Alliance

The Fresh Picks Farmer Alliance (FPFA) is addressing how small local farmers distribute and market products through a network of farm-based aggregation hubs located near interstate highways leading to Chicago. The hubs use an innovative approach to aggregate crops from neighboring farms and leverage existing structures to store and stage crops for regular truck pickups, reducing shipping costs. The Alliance is a collaborative of farmers, businesses and nonprofits, anchored by a distribution and marketing partner who is contributing an existing warehouse, refrigeration facilities, information technology, marketing, and a delivery fleet. Grant funds will help upgrade hub infrastructure, such as forklifts, wash tanks, and cooler spaces, and support marketing and training, all of which are critical to meet the demands of the wholesale buyer.

Read more about food hubs.

The Fresh Picks Farmer Alliance was a finalist in the Food to Market Challenge. 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 funding supports critical project components and provides important leverage to successfully attract additional resources and investment.

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.


Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks

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Angelic Organics Learning Center

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All Grass Farms

Central Illinois Produce

PrairiErth Farm

Prairie Fruits Farm

Springdale Farm

Triple S Farm


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Kinship Foundation

Lenore Beyer
Director of Conservation Programs

The Chicago Community Trust

Michael Davidson
Senior Program Officer

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