Have you heard about our Businesses as Owners initiative? We’ve been recruiting like-minded Chicago-area businesses to become Chicago Market Owners. Check out our continually updated business directory here.
We’re delighted to have Gardeneers on board as Chicago Market’s first non-profit business Owner. Don’t know the Gardeneers? They partner with schools across Chicago to teach children how to grow their own produce and lead healthier lives. We asked Amanda Fieldman, director of development for Gardeneers a few questions about the group and its support of Chicago Market.
Why did Gardeneers join Chicago Market?
We are thrilled that Gardeneers has become the first non-profit Business Owner of Chicago Market. We believe Chicago Market is doing more than just opening a food co-op; they are creating a community dialogue with people that believe in creating and supporting a vibrant local-food system. As an organization that provides school-garden programs in underserved communities, we wanted to show our support of Chicago Market and to become an active part of the conversation. We also feel it is important to bring the perspective of the communities we serve: low-income, food-desert communities, where residents do not have convenient or affordable access to fresh, nutritious foods. These are the areas that need our attention and that are often overlooked in the local-food conversation.
What can the average person in Chicago do to strengthen the local-food scene?
Something simple the average family can do to strengthen the local-food scene in Chicago is grow your own! Join a community garden, plant in containers on a balcony, or even just some herbs in the kitchen window!
What’s the future of Gardeneers?
In just two years as a non-profit, Gardeneers has partnered with 21 schools to implement weekly hands-on garden-education lessons. In the next few years, we hope to expand to more schools in underserved communities, as well as increase the amount of time spent at our current partner schools. This will allow us to work with more students in the gardens, grow more food, send more produce to our school cafeterias, and create a bigger impact for Chicago's youth.