Several years ago, the Cook County Farm Bureau® developed a soil testing program to fill a need of area gardeners and homeowners. We were frequently receiving phone calls from these individuals asking for "places" that conduct soil tests. After struggling to answer this question, we decided that this was an area that we needed to fill as an organization.
Throughout 2020, visits to local food pantries increased on average by more than 50% and at times up to 150% during the height of the pandemic. These visits have been exacerbated by business layoffs, reduced hours and closures thus leading to more than 2.3 million new unemployment claims. This project was designed by association volunteers and staff to provide food for food insecure families and local food pantries experiencing exponential need due to the on-going pandemic and existing systematic inequalities that existed pre-pandemic.