Funded projects

Grants • Learning and Evaluation Investments

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.

Team Leverage was the winner of the Food to Market Challenge, a $500,000 competition to address the supply chain practices that limit the creation of a resilient local food system.

Team Leverage:

This Old Farm is a produce and livestock producer in Colfax, Indiana that has successfully created an alliance network of over 200 local, small-scale protein producers with local distribution.

Top Box Foods makes monthly deliveries of thousands of food boxes to underserved Chicago-area communities through a dedicated network of over 250 volunteers. They bring a steady and predictable purchasing community.

FarmLogix owns the technology platform that integrates Top Box Foods and This Old Farm into the existing Farm To School supply chains it manages for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and other Chicago-area schools.

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.


This Old Farm

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Top Box Foods

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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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