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Growing Home

An Urban Farm Providing Accessible, Affordable Organic Produce



“Sus­tain­abil­i­ty is impor­tant in terms of finan­cial sus­tain­abil­i­ty. It’s impor­tant in terms of envi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­i­ty. We are feed­ing the world and we need to be able to do that well into the future.”

— Janelle St. John, Executive Director, Growing Home

Food & Agriculture Near-Term Outcome #5:

Blue products and solutions effectively address a range of customer needs, spurring further ocean-focused innovation.

Primary SDGs:

2. Zero Hunger
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action

Type of Financing:

Builders Initiative

The Problem

In certain communities across Chicago’s south and west sides, residents often do not have easy access to grocery stores, much less the venues that provide affordable, healthy food options like organic produce.

The Approach

Growing Home offers access to otherwise scarce fresh, organic produce at affordable prices. Growing Home is the only USDA certified organic farm in the City of Chicago. The vast majority of the produce grown on the 1.5-acre farm is sold at affordable prices to community residents via farmers markets or distributed through local food pantries. Growing Home partners with seven distribution sites and food pantries on the southside of Chicago. To make the distribution model sustainable, the organization works with Chicago-area for-profit and non-profit food distributors to sell its produce to restaurants and other markets. The profits from these sales supplement discounts they offer specifically to neighborhood shoppers as well as their paid workforce development programs for Chicago residents with barriers to employment.

The Impact

  • Provided 23,248 individual servings of fresh produce through seven distribution sites on the south side of Chicago.
  • 76% of the food grown on the farm is distributed to food-insecure individuals