On the South Side of Chicago, the residents of the Greater Englewood neighborhood have banded together to make fresh, healthy food available throughout the community.
Whole Cities Foundation has partnered with the Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.), a grassroots organization that identifies and solves community needs, to develop an innovative grant process that builds the Englewood food system.
Each spring since 2016, Englewood food access projects apply for Whole Cities Foundation grants of up to $8,000. Putting the community at the center of the process, R.A.G.E. assembles a Task Force of Englewood leaders to steer an innovative voting process. The Task Force is traditionally made up of people across professions – elected representatives, entrepreneurs, church leaders, and health advocates – who collaborate to uplift community food access projects. Qualified applicants are selected to participate in a community vote, bringing visibility to the fabulous work Englewood is doing for Englewood. Residents then decide which finalists receive a grant.
Asiaha Butler, R.A.G.E. co-Founder and President, says, “Our association truly enjoyed creating this voting process, because the community had the opportunity to make the decision on who would be awarded the Whole Cities Foundation grant, which is not the typical process. The residents felt empowered that their voice was heard and honored. We look forward to future partnerships with this foundation and others who want to fund in an innovative way.”
Whole Cities is delighted to partner with organizations chosen by the community for their vision of a healthier Greater Englewood. Meet our Englewood partners here.