The Community Shares program was started as a pilot project funded by the Greater Chicago Food Depository in 2012 with the GSM, St. Ignatius Food Pantry, Christopher House and the 49th Ward Office of Ald. Joe Moore. In 2013, the original partners expanded to include the Healthy Rogers Park Community Network and The Chicago Community Trust as funders and the High Ridge YMCA as a partner. Farm partners include Midnight Sun Farm, Fat Blossom Farm and Four Friends Farm.
In 2014 the Community Shares program delivered more than 5,000 pounds of produce to food insecure families in Rogers Park and improved its collaborations regarding food, nutrition education and service delivery. During the 2014 program year Community Shares served 70 families at the High Ridge YMCA's Head Start program and Jordan Community School. 80% of program participants said the program helped them get more healthy food for their families and 52% reported increasing the amount of vegetables they consumed, thanks to Community Shares.
The Community Shares program is a unique project is that is making a difference in the Rogers Park community!
Chicago, IL – Today (7/9/12) marked the first day of the first-of-its-kind Community Shares Project, providing bags of fresh, organic, locally grown fruits and vegetables to eleven families at New Field Elementary School. Families listed their favorite vegetables and their favorite way to eat their vegetables and Alderman Joe Moore quizzed students on the different types of vegetables they were soon to receive. The featured vegetable of the month is kohlrabi; a mini-lesson on kohlrabi was taught, with samples of kohlrabi passed around the room. And of course, kohlrabi and a recipe for a kohlrabi cole slaw was included in every family’s bag. In addition, each family received tokens that they could use at the Glenwood Sunday Market to purchase produce on non-delivery weeks.
The Community Shares project is a collaboration of Ignatian Services, Glenwood Sunday Market (a program of the Rogers Park Business Alliance), and Christopher House with the goal to reach and serve 200 unduplicated children and adults who are food insecure residents of the widely diverse population of the Rogers Park community. Glenwood Sunday Market’s mission is to make sustainable, regionally produced foods available to our whole community. This program seeks to serve undocumented residents who cannot qualify for food access assistance and the working poor who do not qualify for food access assistance. The program will occur on 20 Mondays at a rotation schedule of local public elementary schools with early childhood and elementary school programs. In addition, produce will be delivered to schools via a unique bicycle delivery system so the program will be green-friendly.
The collaborative efforts of Ignatian Services, Glenwood Sunday Market, and Christopher House coupled with the support of the local public elementary school’s principals and staff will provide the much needed food and education to these two “invisible” tiers of Rogers Park residents. Ignatian Services Food Pantry will provide administrative oversight, as well as the space for secure food storage and access to a volunteer group with wide-ranging foreign language speaking skills. Glenwood Sunday Market has pre-existing relationships with the farmers and food artisans who will provide the Community Shares food and will also provide administrative, educational, and logistical leadership to the project.
Kathy Morris – Director Ignatian Services Food Pantry
Sheree Moratto – Market Director, Glenwood Sunday Market
Ann Hinterman – Market Manager, Glenwood Sunday Market
For more information, contact Sheree Moratto, Market Director, Glenwood Sunday Market, firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-508-5885, ext. 13.