Community Growers: Food Equity

The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) will provide funding to one nonprofit (i.e. 501(c)(3) organization to serve as a lead delegate agency for the Community Growers Program. There are two main goals of this program:

  1. Reduce barriers to urban agriculture by supporting urban growers with access to land, resources to build long-term urban agriculture sites, and technical support.
  2. Increase equitable community access to healthy foods by creating new food access points in communities experiencing food insecurity.

The lead agency will manage the development and implementation of 25-30 urban agriculture sites by providing financial and technical assistance to urban growers (“sub-grantees”) to support existing urban agricultural sites and build urban gardens and farms on vacant lots, with a goal of increasing availability of and access to healthy food in communities facing high levels of food insecurity to low-moderate income communities Neighborhoods that are predominantly low-income communities have less access to healthy food and experience greater food insecurity and food-related illnesses.

The total amount of funding available for this program is approximately $2.1 million. It is anticipated that the lead delegate agency will award funds to 25-30 urban agriculture projects (“sub-grantees”) with the following criteria. 10% of the total budget will be retained for the lead delegate agency’s administrative costs to manage the program.

  • Creation of 10 brand-new urban agriculture project sites on city-owned vacant lots Installation of permanent water lines at least 15 existing urban agriculture sites. 
  • Implementation of projects at 15-20 existing urban agriculture sites, which may include testing and land remediation, construction of hoop houses or other infrastructure, and more.

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