It is a strong value of the Elawa Farm Foundation to share our harvest and improve healthy food access with our neighbors across Lake County, Illinois. To address the increasing need for healthy food during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, we have stepped up our efforts to distribute our harvest to families and individuals who need it the most.
In summer 2020, we partnered with BellaRu Catering, a woman/minority-owned catering company in Highland Park, to distribute more than 1,600 bags of fresh food to Lake County families. Each grocery bag fed a family for one week and included fresh produce, grains, eggs, dairy, and meat. Many of the products were sourced from 7 local farms, including Elawa Farm, which in turn provided direct support to farmers during a challenging time when restaurant and market sales were down. Valued at $50 each, these grocery bags included fresh, nutrient-dense items that are often more difficult to find in food banks and pantries due to the lack of refrigeration.
The grocery bags were distributed in partnership with local community organizations and food pantries across 11 communities in Lake County, including North Chicago, Waukegan, Highland Park, and Round Lake. This food access project was made possible by a grant from the Chicago Region Food System Fund, which responds to hunger and business disruption by bolstering the region’s communities and local food system to withstand COVID-19.
In addition, Elawa Farm Foundation donates produce, prepared food from our kitchen, and garden seedlings to local community organizations, including North Chicago Community Partners and Roberti Community House, on a weekly basis throughout the growing season. To continue to address food insecurity in Lake County, both in the short and long-term, Elawa Farm Foundation is exploring additional partnerships, distribution outlets, and educational programming. We are humbled to partner on such important work and we look forward to increasing our distribution to local community organizations as we expand our garden in season ahead. Stay tuned for exciting developments!
To learn more about our food access work, please contact Executive Director, Laura Calvert, at email@example.com