Pandemic Response Reinforcement Resilience

HOW TO APPLY SUPPORT THE FUND

Strengthening the food system and building a just future

The Chicago Region Food System Fund addresses hunger and business disruption by bolstering the region’s communities and local food system in response to COVID-19 and other systemic shocks. The total support granted by the Fund is $9,917,150 to 139 non-profit organizations since June 2020.

In addition to food-focused organizations serving farmers, growers, and advocates, the Fund supports a range of organizations, including but not limited to community associations like block clubs and houses of worship who consider food part of their mission, and local food businesses that bring food from farm to table.

Steering Committee
  • The Steering Committee is composed of six community representatives and three funder representatives.
  • It is responsible for overall fund strategy and design for grantmaking.
  • It is majority community representatives to center the voices of on-the-ground practitioners with extensive experience in the local food system.
When times are easy and there’s plenty to go around, individual species can go it alone. But when conditions are harsh and life is tenuous, it takes a team sworn to reciprocity to keep life going forward. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants Robin Wall Kimmerer, Author/Professor

Adapting to strengthen resilience in the food system

The pandemic has taught us a lot. Food system nonprofits and businesses are moving quickly, building on assets, and prototyping new ways of doing things. It’s a dynamic moment. The Chicago Region Food System Fund wants to support and accelerate that dynamism as much as possible, both in the grants we make and how we partner to capture learning with a commitment to continual improvement.

Diverse approaches, hopeful future

Some see resilience in the context of climate change. Others see it in the ability to live through and transform trauma. Still others see it as food sovereignty rooted in traditional ecological knowledge as practiced by indigenous communities. Or in locally owned and well-integrated food businesses. No one approach can define and ensure resilience—but together the region’s vibrant web of rural, urban, and peri-urban food communities can build a resilient, racially and economically just future.

ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility Criteria

Only 501(c)(3) organizations or fiscal sponsors are eligible to apply. The Chicago Region Food Fund focuses on an area roughly 200 miles from Chicago. Tribal nations located more than 200 miles from Chicago are eligible to apply if the Chicago region is part of their market. Previous CRFSF grantees are eligible to reapply. See the CRFSF FAQs page for more info.

HOW TO APPLY

Information about future rounds of funding will be announced throughout 2022. Use the button below if you’d like to access your online account at any time.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT EMAILS FROM CRFSF
Emails from CRFSF related to your application will come from one of two email addresses: foodsystem@freshtaste.org or “Forefront <administrator@grantinterface.com>”. You may want to add the addresses to your address book. If you have any questions about your application or the online application system, email foodsystem@freshtaste.org. The Forefront email address listed above is unmonitored.

 

 

 

Acknowledgments

The fund was created through the generosity of the founding donors with an initial investment of $4.2M in June 2020 and is managed by Fresh Taste, fiscally sponsored by Forefront.

The Builders Initiative
Food:Land:Opportunity
Fresh Taste
Little Owl Foundation
The Lumpkin Family Foundation
Margot L. Pritzker Fund
Walder Foundation
Walter Mander Foundation

OTHER CONTRIBUTORS

ADDITIONAL DONORS
Amanda Hanley Climate Fund
Crown Family Philanthropies
James F. Beré Family Fund at The Chicago Community Trust
The Benida Group LLC

 

Advisor: Betty Emarita, Development & Training, Inc. 

Website design: Right Angle Studio, Inc.

IN THE MEDIA

For Immediate Release: Steering Committee Members of Chicago Region Food System Fund Announced

The Chicago Region Food System Fund (CRFSF) today announces its new steering committee responsible for overall fund strategy and design for grantmaking. The Steering Committee is composed of six community representatives and three funder representatives. The Committee is majority community representatives to center the voices of on-the-ground practitioners with extensive experience in the local food system.

CONTACT US

If you have any questions about the Chicago Region Food System Fund, including support for applications, email foodsystem@freshtaste.org or call 773-944-5100.

Sign up for our email list to receive announcements from the Fund.

Media inquiries—Please contact Brandon Hayes, Founder, Bold Bison Communications & Consulting, at 312-945-8416, brandon@boldbisonconsulting.com.

Photos courtesy of Plant Chicago, Elawa Farm Foundation, Chinese American Service League, and Gary Comer Youth Center.

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