Advocates for Urban Agriculture Awards Capacity Building Grants to Chicagoland Farms
This December, Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA) announced the names of 11 farm businesses awarded funding through their 2020 Capacity Building Grant.
Through the Capacity Building Grant, AUA received $410,000 worth of requests from Chicagoland growers wanting to scale up their operations and strengthen engagement with their surrounding communities. The number of applications and level of funding requests demonstrates the high volume of sustainable urban farm businesses in the Chicagoland region ready to take the next step by scaling up their operation.
AUA is proud to be supporting farms located in Chicagoland communities, led by growers who live, work, and resemble the communities in which they work. The Capacity Building grant was co-created by a group of Chicagoland-based growers who identified five guiding values for the program:
- Holistic, Sustainable Growing Process & Practices
- Community Engagement, Enrichments, Relationships, and Assets
- Self-Determination, Justice, Equity, and Non-Exploitative practices
- Transparent Process and Economic Growth
- Collective Growth and Collaboration Trust
Beatrice Kamau, 2020 Capacity Building Grant Recipient with Multiple Harvest Farm, speaks to these very values. “The Grant will help scale up production and improve the quality of our produce,” says Kamau. “We are looking forward to continuing to grow vegetables that are popular among the African Immigrants [and] also sharing with all of Chicagoland communities.”
All of the Capacity Building Grant awardees lead operations in which more than 50% of the operation is owned, operated, and/or founded by BIPOC and trans, non-binary, and/or gender non-conforming gender individuals. This funding is supporting grantees who identify their communities as ones which include immigrants, the chronically ill, and people of color.
“Centering these diverse perspectives is one critical way in which urban agriculture organizations can continue to re-imagine our food system and make it increasingly equitable,” said Bea Fry, AUA’s Development Coordinator.
For more information about AUA and their funding programs, visit https://www.auachicago.org.
Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA) is a coalition of urban farms, community and school gardens, individuals and businesses working to support and expand sustainable agriculture in the Chicago region. AUA’s mission is to empower urban growers to foster thriving communities through sustainable agriculture and equitable food systems.
Food:Land:Opportunity (FLO) is a partnership between The Kinship Foundation and The Chicago Community Trust, funded by the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust.
Development Coordinator, Advocates for Urban Agriculture
2020 Capacity Building Grant Recipients:
- $20,000 Awardee: Fresher Together
- $10,000 Awardees: Cedillo’s Fresh Produce, Getting Grown Collective, Run-A-Way Buckers Club, Grow Thrive Farm
- $5,000 Awardees: Iyabo Farms, Multiple Harvest, Bee-utiful Honey, BSRR Youth Center Academy and Farm
- $2,500 Awardees: Catatumbo Cooperative Farm, Coleman Pharaoh’s Garden