Faith in Place Green Team site, Greater St. John Bible Church in the Austin neighborhood in Chicago has completed the construction of their Community Incubator Kitchen! It has been a lengthy process to get to this point, but now programming for others to use the kitchen can finally begin.
This pilot project came to be when Faith in Place received funding from the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Market Promotion Program. One of the biggest obstacles for small food business owners is not having access to commercial kitchen spaces because of costs. The incubator kitchen is a perfect model to give entrepreneurs access to certified spaces, and for houses of worship, such as Greater St. John Bible Church, to revitalize their spaces to be open to the neighborhood. Community members will have opportunities to learn more about fresh food, take cooking classes, and learn food safety.
Greater St. John Bible Church became the crucial point of this pilot program. The Austin neighborhood is known to be food-insecure, and the pilot program will help with food access, but also economic justice. Potential entrepreneurs will be able to grow their businesses and give back to the community they are in.
Programming has already started in this kitchen this summer! Greater St. John Bible Church received a grant through the Obama Foundation to teach 6-8 Chicago youth how to use the Community Incubator Kitchen!
We look forward to seeing the community gather in this space and for business owners to start utilizing the Community Incubator Kitchen to its fullest!
Check out the wonderful transformation below in the before and after videos!
Thank you to the Austin Fresh Collaborative for making this possible!
The Christopher Family Foundation
The Builders Initiative
The Lumpkin Family Foundation
Walder S. Mander Foundation
Food Land: Opportunity Fund, a program of the Kinship and the Chicago Community Trust