After ten incredible seasons hosting indoor Winter Farmers Markets around Chicagoland, we have made the difficult decision to end the program. Faith in Place started the program back in 2009 when winter markets were rare. We set out to fill several needs. Environmental justice (EJ) communities needed (and still need) greater access to local, healthy food options. Farmers market vendors needed venues to sell their products during the leaner winter months when markets are few and far between.
We still value these needs, and over the course of ten years, our Winter Farmers Markets have inspired many more winter markets to meet them, and for this impact we are thankful. It is time, however, to continue to evaluate how we work with our community so we can have an even stronger impact, and we are taking this opportunity to reimagine what our Sustainable Food & Land Use program area can offer. We especially want to refine our focus on supporting communities with food insecurity.
We will have more to share in the coming months about several ideas in the works.
At the moment, however, we can tell you about a couple very exciting new developments!
We were recently given a $100,000 grant from the Chicago Region Food System Fund to support communities of faith providing emergency food relief during COVID-19. If your Green Team or House of Worship is helping address food insecurity and would be interested in financial support, please email Ray Bell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications are due Friday, August 7, by 6:00 p.m.
We have also been developing a Community Incubator Kitchen project since last fall. You may remember chatting with Open Door Advisors, Inc. at the 2019 Green Team Summit. They have been working with us to help achieve our vision: to create a kitchen incubator where new entrepreneurs can rent space from a House of Worship in our network to produce and package their value-added food products like jams and salsas. We are currently looking for a site. If you are connected to a House of Worship that could be a good fit, please reach out to Veronica Kyle at email@example.com.
Do you have additional ideas about the Sustainable Food & Land Use Program Area? Let us know how you think we should reimagine these programs!