Covid-19 Emergency Food Relief

1,150,000+ pounds of
emergency food donated

The Covid-19 crisis has most heavily impacted Black and Brown communities on the South and West Sides of Chicago. Our mission has always been to provide the city’s most vulnerable with healthy, healing food, but through the Covid-19 pandemic this work has become more important than ever. Our Fresh Moves team has pivoted from their usual operations to focus on our emergency food relief efforts. We have grown and distributed nutrient-dense produce as well as coordinated and delivered culturally-affirming meals to communities most in need. Between these produce boxes and prepared meals, over one million pounds of food has been donated.

We’re incredibly grateful for all of the funders that have supported our Squad approach, which employs on-the-ground collaborations (“Squads”). These Squads directly support BIPOC-led organizations and allow them to safely grow, process, prepare, and distribute high quality, nutritious meals and produce boxes to folks in need. Unlike other Covid-19 relief efforts, our Squad approach meets the immediate needs of communities while also creating opportunities for these organizations to expand their operations. By supporting these BIPOC-led businesses, we can not only provide emergency food to Black and brown communities during the Covid-19 pandemic, but we can continue to work towards building a more equitable Chicago food system.

Our Squad

UGC proudly partners with food businesses that are BIPOC-led and operated to provide folks in need with nutritious and culturally-affirming produce and prepared meals. Prepared meals are especially important in providing food to those who are not able to prepare food due to housing status, culinary skill, or time constraints. Produce is locally sourced from Urban Growers Collective farms or from Midwest Foods, a woman-owned and family-run produce distributor located in the Brighton Park neighborhood in Chicago. We are proud to play our part in supporting American agriculture as an essential part of the food supply chain.

We could not have done this without the help of our incredible Squad:

Our Partners

UGC initially started with outreach to the organizations we partner with for our Fresh Moves Mobile Market pop up farmers’ markets. These organizations include health centers, schools, senior centers, and other social service agencies. Our partners collected information from the people they served to identify individuals and households most at need. Many of the people identified fall into demographics that are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19, including those who have disabilities, are immunocompromised, experience homelessness or are unstably housed, are homebound, aging adults, undocumented individuals, people who have had contact with the justice system, and domestic violence survivors.

Our produce donations have been distributed weekly to over 2,000 residents at our partner sites, including:

Thresholds South

Thresholds Rowan Trees

Howard Brown Health

Near North Health

Martin Luther King Center

Claretian Associates

Heartland Alliance

Pride ROC

UofC Medicine C4P

Stone Temple Missionary Baptist Church

New Life Covenant Church Southeast

The Scentuary

American Indian Center

Academy for Global Citizenship

READI Chicago

Boxville

Hope House

Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corp

Eden’s Place

African American Women Construction Trades

Institiuo Del Progresso Latino

Academy for Global Citizenship

Claretian Associates

Questions?

Reach out at info@urbangrowerscollective.org or (773) 376-8882.