The Lumpkin Family Foundation is proud to share a new opportunity for organizations throughout Illinois that are addressing the ongoing disruptions in our region's food system with this week's announcement of the Chicago Region Food System Fund. We have been working with our partners in Fresh Taste to develop this Fund as a focused emergency response in order to secure healthy, fresh food for our most marginalized communities and support the family farmers and food chain workers that have had to adjust their operations or take on additional risks in the wake of COVID-19. These resources will prioritize vulnerable populations, strengthen rural and urban collaborations, and seed innovations between the nonprofit sector and enterprising food businesses. 

The Fund has been launched this week and is currently accepting applications from qualified organizations. You can visit the Fund's website at and read the press release below for more details. If you are an existing grantee of the Lumpkin Family Foundation, or an organization in East Central Illinois, with questions regarding the Fund, we welcome you to contact us directly by emailing



***First Round of 9 Grants Supports Chicago Communities and Illinois Farmers***

(Chicago, IL – June 10, 2020) The Chicago Region Food System Fund today announced a request for applications from non-profit organizations responding to the impacts of COVID-19 on Chicago region communities and the local food economy. This open call follows an initial round of $895,000 awarded to nine organizations responding to the immediate pandemic impacts on communities in Chicago and on food producers, processors, and distributors in the region. Later in 2020, the fund will shift its focus to long-term work toward a resilient, racially and economically just local food system. With an initial investment of $4.2M, the Chicago Region Food System Fund focuses on hunger and business disruption in the local food system—from production to processing to distribution to consumption—in an area approximately 200 miles from Chicago (about a day’s drive to/from the city). Priority will be given to organizations producing food in, and supplying food to, communities of color. Fresh Taste, fiscally sponsored by Forefront, manages the Fund.

The first nine grant recipients of the Fund are:

  • Artisan Grain Collaborative, $50,000
  • Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Living, $120,000
  • Chicago Food Policy Action Council, $75,000
  • Chinese American Service League, $80,000
  • Green City Market, $125,000
  • Illinois Stewardship Alliance, $100,000
  • Plant Chicago, $25,000
  • Street Vendors Association of Chicago, $120,000
  • Urban Growers Collective, $200,000

Read the full press release and find out how to apply at  

An FAQ document is available here