DeKALB – Community Gardens of DeKalb County has received a $200,000 grant for the Reinvestment Fund’s Healthy Foods Initiative.
According to a press release, the grant will be used for planning related to the construction of the Community Health Education and Food Center.
The Reinvestment Fund awarded $22.6 million in financial assistance to 134 projects under the 2021 round of the U.S. Healthy Foods Funding Initiative’s Targeted Small Grants Program. The grants are designed to be one-time capital investments in a food retail or food business project and are intended to unlock additional sources of capital, catalyze project sustainability, fill funding gaps and /or to enable a deeper impact or reach of the project. As the COVID-19 pandemic reveals how essential grocery stores and their employees are in providing essential goods and services to communities, investments in the food supply chain can help create quality jobs, support local economies, encourage environmental sustainability and prioritize equity in the food system.
DeKalb County Community Gardens is one of five programs in Illinois to receive funding. The Community Health Education and Food Center will be the first of its kind in northern Illinois, with the 3-acre campus comprising a 25,000 square foot facility with a 9,000 square foot greenhouse, one acre garden, food aggregation and processing area for local businesses, 2,000 square foot shared-use commercial kitchen for food entrepreneurs, flexible indoor/outdoor market and garden and health centers, and space for food service agencies. shared social services, farm-to-table restaurant that seats 150, classroom, meeting and event space, and Pre-K Childcare Center. The center is intended to be a community hub providing a bridge connecting the community, neighborhood and university and providing careers, job training, access to food, entrepreneurial opportunities, business education and social services.
For more information on DeKalb County Community Gardens, visit www.dekalbgardens.org