In an effort to address hunger through innovation and self-reliance, The GardenWorks Project promotes food growing opportunities to address food insecurity on a community level.
Based out of West Chicago, The GardenWorks Project has supported more than 400 families facing food insecurity with home vegetable gardens, and since 2017, has supported the establishment and/or expansion of 15 community food gardens within the western Chicagoland region that purposefully educate communities on the importance of a healthy lifestyle and diet, empower community members to grow food for themselves, and/or use harvests to support hunger relief, such as providing donations to a local food pantry.
“In western Chicagoland, food access is a complicated topic, and The GardenWorks Project hopes to improve food access and food quality for households facing food insecurity," said Jeannie Iseman, executive director of The GardenWorks Project in a news release from The GardenWorks Project. "The community gardening movement has grown with momentum nationwide, and we are proud to assist organizations that desire to impact their community by boosting their local food system."
With 1 in 8 children facing food insecurity within western Chicagoland, the Community Garden Support Program empowers community food growers to improve the quality of emergency food provided to families within the region. Again, for the fourth year in a row, The GardenWorks Project Community Garden Support Program is pleased to offer a resource grant to select organizations that desire to begin or enhance a community gardening project.
Each project will receive the following:
• 4 handmade, 4’ x 8’ x 8” cedar raised-bed frames along with soil and compost.
• 25 free seed packets.
• Discounted organically grown seedlings.
• 20% off additional raised-bed garden frames available for sale at GardenWorks' Resource Center.
• Free attendance to all GardenWorks Project educational offerings.
Applicants must be a group located within the western Chicagoland region. Priority will be given to organizations with strong partnerships with local emergency food assistance agencies and commit to providing harvest proceeds to programs that support emergency food assistance efforts.
The deadline to apply is March 15 and applicants will be informed of awards by April 15. For more information and program requirements, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to GardenWorks' website at gardenworksproject.org.