Achieving Organizational Goals in the Food Space
Our work in the food space continues to achieve organizational goals. We are developing new market opportunities for farmers, and building deeper partnerships with organizations like Feeding Illinois, which allow us to be a solution to the food insecurity and food waste challenges right here in our communities. At the recent State Fair, we announced, along with our partners, new functionality on the MarketMaker platform that will allow farmers and food businesses to list available products for sale or donation and to hear directly from registered Illinois nonprofit organizations. This could be food banks, shelters, or other nonprofits serving their communities. This is in addition to the existing MarketMaker functions which allow farmers to advertise their products and sell directly to consumers online. The connection to nonprofits is a pilot program that we hope will become a blueprint around the country. To read more and to sign up your business or nonprofit, check out the FarmWeek coverage of this important announcement.
Cook County Farm Bureau delivered fresh meat to Hattie B. Williams Food Pantry in Oak Forest. The meat was purchased from the Lake County Fair 4H Animal Auction and donated to Food Checkout Day partner food pantries. Hattie B. Williams Food Pantry was selected by representatives from COUNTRY Financial South Holland agency.
This spring Cook County Farm Bureau submitted a grant application for a commercial grade refrigerator for Hattie B. Williams Food Pantry in Oak Forest and the refrigerator has arrived! The grant, provided through Midwest Dairy Association, covers the cost of the refrigerator.
Hattie B. Williams Food Pantry serves south suburban Cook County. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and its lasting effects on food insecurity, the pantry served between 50 and 60 families per week; in 2020 that number grew to over 90 families.