GRANTEE HIGHLIGHT: GROWING HOME

Every month, we like to highlight one of our grantees and the work they do in addressing poverty. This month, the J.R. Albert Foundation is featuring Growing Home in Chicago, IL.

 

Photo by Andrew Collings.

Tucked away on the south side of Chicago is Englewood, a community where according to the latest census, is home to about 30,000 people. Its roots can be traced back to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 when displaced Chicago residents moved to Englewood. However in the recent past, this neighborhood has become one of the most underserved communities in Chicago with 48% of their residents living below the poverty line ($24,600 for a family of four).

In this community you can find Chicago’s first and only USDA-certified organic high producing urban farms. Both the Wood Street and Honore Street farms are owned and operated by Growing Home, a nonprofit that believes “urban agriculture, combined with local food enterprise, can be a catalyst for change.”

For over 15 years, Growing Home has been growing and selling fresh and healthy foods, and training people in urban agriculture. In 2016, they harvested over 35,000 pounds of organic produce, with 91% of it making it to eaters’ plates compared to only 60%-70% world-wide.

 

 While Growing Home has successfully increased access to fresh foods in Englewood, they also have made a significant impact through their 14-week job training program. Program participants go through an application and recruitment process to become a production assistant. Once accepted, production assistants work alongside staff, graduates, volunteers, and mentors learning every aspect of farm production.

After completing the program, graduates are prepared for many jobs in the food chain, working in urban farms, food hubs, wholesalers, and restaurants. Growing Home works with local food businesses to help graduates find meaningful employment.

We are appreciative of the work Growing Home does in Englewood and the City of Chicago.

To find out more about Growing Home or to support their work, please visit them online at http://growinghomeinc.org/.

 

Photo by Andrew Collings.