Five Awesome Food Organizations in Illinois

Launched by Food Tank and the James Beard Foundation, the first annual Good Food Org Guide identifies and celebrates more than five hundred U.S.-based groups including five from Illinois who are cultivating a better food system.

The Food Circle

The Food Circle, a program of MGR Youth Empowerment, recovers fresh produce from Chicago area grocery stores and distributes it to community members in need. By working with local youth volunteers and facilitating educational discussions after food distributions, the program empowers young people to address food waste and food insecurity in their own neighborhoods.

I Grow Chicago

I Grow Chicago offers programming that includes urban agriculture and nutrition education, giving youth and at-risk community members a safe environment. They have established over 50 community gardens and worked with over 1,000 local residents as part of their mission to eradicate poverty and provide job training and employment.

Illinois Food Scrap Coalition

Illinois Food Scrap Coalition focuses on advocacy and the development of programs and policy to advance the state’s composting initiatives. They host forums and conferences, provide a how-to guide for restaurants looking to compost, and help source relevant funding

Illinois Stewardship Alliance

Illinois Stewardship Alliance advocates for fair living wages for farmers and local food education in schools. They are a partnership among food producers, organizations, and citizens focused on policy development.

Purple Asparagus

Purple Asparagus is a Chicago nonprofit working to provide education in nutritious and sustainable eating. Through programs that include cooking and direct connections to area farmers, they bring this mission to schools, farmers markets, and community organizations.