(Chicago, January 12, 2014)– On Saturday March 2, 2013, 149 teams participated in the annual CHIditarod Urban Cart Race. They suited-up and raced tricked-out grocery carts through the Wicker Park and West Town neighborhoods, raising more than 17,000 pounds of food The Greater Chicago Food Depository, and more than $20,000 to help 501(c)(3) organizations in the community eliminate hunger and solve food insecurity issues in Chicago.
Continuing the CHIditarod tradition of philanthropy, we’ve expanded in the past few years to incorporate fundraising to accompany our well-received food drive — over 85,000 lbs of food has been donated to local food pantries in our eight year history. In 2012 we formed the CHIditarod Foundation, the nonprofit organization created to manage CHIditarod fundraising and award grants. Through the Foundation, our goal is to engage with the community to alleviate food insecurity and the root causes of hunger.
We are delighted to share the following results from our 2013 grant program. Below is the breakdown of grants delivered in 2013 by the CHIditarod Foundation. Our theme was Childhood Education and Engagement around food and nutrition.
$5,000 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository in support of their children’s programs. The grant will supply nearly 9,000 pounds (or the equivalent of 7,500 meals) of nutritious food and fresh produce for distribution throughout their Healthy Kids Markets and Kids Cafe programs in Chicago Public Schools and throughout Cook County.
Hunger disproportionately affects children in Cook County – one of every five children in our community doesn’t know when or where they’re going to get their next meal,” said Kate Maehr, executive director and CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “Because of the CHIditarod’s generous support of the Food Depository’s children’s programs, more children in our community will receive the meals they need.
$5,000 to Purple Asparagus, in support of their Delicious, Nutritious Adventures program, where Chicago Public schoolchildren taste new foods, learn where they come from, why they benefit their bodies, and how to make simple and healthy meals with their families. The grant will pay for a year’s worth of food and supplies for two new schools.
We are so thrilled to be receiving this funding from the CHIditarod Foundation, a truly impactful organization that understands the link between food security and nutrition and community,” said Purple Asparagus Executive Director, Melissa Graham. “Their unique style of fundraising mobilizes our communities to action while providing an artistic outlet showcasing our greater character, originality, and enthusiasm for charity. We’d like to thank CHIditarod Foundation and all of the community members that participated in last year’s event. With this funding Purple Asparagus will be able to purchase the food and supplies necessary to expand our Delicious Nutritious Adventures programming, which educates Chicago Public School children about eating that’s good for the body and the planet, to two new schools next year.
$5,000 to Angelic Organics Learning Center, in support of their Eat to Live Urban Farm and Garden (E2L) development project. E2L is a comprehensive urban agriculture and food systems development project located in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. E2L reached over 650 children and adults in 2013 through programs with schools, a quarter-acre community garden, and a half-acre urban farm. Jackie Kaplan-Perkins, Director of Development and Communications:
Angelic Organics Learning Center is extremely grateful for the CHIditarod grant that supported our Eat to Live Urban Farm and Garden project in Englewood. At a time when an increasing number of families in the United States are food insecure, this grant allowed us to continue our work giving children and their families in Englewood the knowledge and opportunity to connect with the earth and grow healthy food.
$5,000 to Peterson Garden Project, in support of their Pop Up Victory Gardens, Operation VEGucation food growing classes, and Grow2Give food donations and community outreach that recruit, educate and inspire a new generation of gardeners who want to gain control of their food supply, grow their own produce organically and make urban gardening the norm—not the exception.
There are a lot of smart people doing amazing things to change our relationship with food, from supporting local farmers to showing us all how our little bit can help, from illuminating the important role of food-as-culture to how our dining choices matter. We are so grateful to the CHIditarod Foundation for being among those actively seeking to make a healthier city and planet, and for their generosity in supporting Peterson Garden Project.