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Application opens for funding from Chicago Region Food System Fund

CHICAGO – The Chicago Region Food System Fund announced a new round of funding to support long-term food system resilience.

The fund addresses hunger and business disruption by bolstering the region’s local food system in response to COVID-19 and other systemic shocks, a news release stated.

From an initial investment of $4.2 million, the fund has grown to more than $7.3 million. To date, the fund has awarded 85 grants totaling $3.97 million focused on pandemic response projects.

To apply, visit Applications will be accepted for amounts up to $200,000. Applications must be submitted by Jan. 13. Funding decisions will be made in mid-February. The grant period will be one year. 

For more information about this round of funding, a webinar will be from 9 to 10 a.m. Dec. 3.

Only 501(c)(3) organizations or fiscal sponsors are eligible to apply. The Chicago Region Food Fund focuses on an area about 200 miles from Chicago. In Lake County, funding consideration includes nonprofits working with urban farmers; food hubs/cooperatives; farmers markets; community organizations  with close ties to informal community associations; food businesses (processors, distributors, slaughterhouses, retail, restaurants, institutional providers); food chain workers impacted by COVID-19 or at a high risk of contracting the virus; emergency food system organizations integrating local food; and wasted food projects.

Major funders of the Chicago Region Local Food System Fund are The Builders Initiative, Food:Land:Opportunity (funded through the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust), Fresh Taste, James F. Beré Family Fund, Little Owl Foundation, The Lumpkin Family Foundation, Margot L. Pritzker Fund, Walder Foundation and Walter Mander Foundation. The fund welcomes additional support. Visit

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