HCF Sponsors the 17th Annual Chicago Food Justice Summit

HCF Sponsors the 17th Annual Chicago Food Justice Summit on February 23-25, 2022

HCF Sponsors the 17th Annual Chicago Food Justice Summit

We were a proud sponsor of this year’s 17th Annual Chicago Food Justice Summit hosted by Chicago Food Policy Action Council (CFPAC). The Summit was held virtually from February 23-25, 2022 and welcomed more attendees and speakers, and hosted more food justice sessions than any previous summits. 
This year’s theme was Collective Care, which celebrated community efforts and unity amidst the ongoing pandemic and highlighted how neighbors, mutual aid networks, cooks, and local growers showed up for one another. The Summit created a space for local organizers, community members, and food justice advocates to come together to reflect on 2021 and discuss how to rebuild a better food system moving forward. 
Infographic from 17th Annual Food Justice Summit Keynote Address Credit: CFPAC
“As Healthy Communities Foundation continues to evolve our grantmaking to support equitable recovery, it is paramount that recovery is rooted in care,” said Gillian Knight, Program Manager of Learning and Evaluation. “CFPAC’s Food Justice Summit creates space for the Chicagoland foodshed to continue to develop an interconnected system of care when it comes to growing, preparing and accessing fresh, local and culturally appropriate food in our region.”
“CFPAC’s staff and summit planning team’s intersectional approach to create a more just food system that promotes health equity, is why Healthy Communities Foundation was proud to support this year’s Summit,” Gillian stated.
Over 90 passionate speakers were featured at this year’s Summit. From that grouprepresentatives from our grantee partner organizations Austin Coming TogetherGreater Chicago Food DepositoryIMAN, and Urban Growers Collective spoke about their work to advance food justice and equity in Chicago and across our region. 
Footage from “Chicago’s Food Equity Council” Summit Session
Credit: CFPAC YouTube
In the “Chicago’s Food Equity Council” session, Food Equity Policy Lead Ruby Ferguson from Greater Chicago Food Depository and Food Equity Council Co-Chair Erika Allen from Urban Growers Collective discussed how Chicago’s Food Equity Council came together and their priorities to advance food equity in 2022 and beyond.

The Food Equity Council, formally established in 2020, works to build an equitable, vibrant, and resilient local food system in Chicago by addressing immediate needs and root causes of food insecurity.

Footage from “Austin Eats: Growing and Sowing a Healthier Community” Summit Session
Credit: CFPAC YouTube
Three Austin residents, including Dearra Williams from Coming Together, shared their own lived experiences around food insecurity and highlighted how Austin Eats, a local Austin collective, is working toward improving physical, mental, and economic health by addressing food access from a holistic perspective in “Austin Eats: Growing and Sowing a Healthier Community.”

Many residents of Austin, one of the largest Chicago communities by area, cannot afford healthy foods or simply do not have access to healthy food sources, as COVID forced the closing of many large grocery chains in the areaworsening residents’ health outcomes. Austin Eats aims to expand food access in the Austin community through various local initiatives and working groups. 

Footage from “IMAN: Kitchen Table Talks: Fresh Market Edition” Summit Session
Credit: CFPAC YouTube

Chef Gina Bates, IMAN Board Member, and Ahmad Jitan, IMAN Community Organizer, hosted their session “IMAN Kitchen Table Talks: Fresh Market Edition” live from the newly opened Go Green on Racine Fresh Market kitchen in Englewood. Together, Chef Gina and Ahmad shared their own journeys around food and healing, prepared a dish from the Fresh Market menu, and discussed IMAN’s community work and opportunities to advance food justice and food sovereignty.