City of Chicago Announces Community Growers Program
Program to increase availability of healthy food in communities facing food insecurity while developing essential business skills and strategies for urban growers
Office of the Mayor
Mar 17, 2020
“Through the Community Growers Program, we’re looking forward to working with NeighborSpace to support a more inclusive, sustainable urban agriculture ecosystem,” said BACP Commissioner Kenneth J. Meyer. “Chicago has a long history of urban agriculture and with an increased investment of resources, we are continuing this tradition.
NeighborSpace is a nonprofit urban land trust in Chicago that preserves and sustains gardens on behalf of dedicated community groups. They support community gardens — through property ownership, insurance, water, stewardship, education, tool lending, project planning, fundraising support, troubleshooting, and more — so that community groups can focus on gardening and on their community-building vision, generating food, beauty, play, health, and safety for their neighborhoods.
“This program builds on the work of countless farmers and gardeners who have been growing food in Chicago for generations by permanently expanding the footprint of urban agriculture in our City,” said Ben Helphand, Executive Director of NeighborSpace. “Importantly, the program will target its support to those growers who have not previously had access to a lot of resources and institutional support.”
Through this program, BACP and NeighborSpace expect to reduce the barriers to urban agriculture by supporting urban growers with access to land and water, resources to build long-term sites, and technical support. This program will increase equitable community-access to healthy foods by creating new food access points in neighborhoods experiencing food insecurity.
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