This is our entry for the 2023 Project Awesome decreasing world suck. Thanks to Jalen Johnson for creating this. OUR MISSION We are committed to high-quality garden education and community programs that create positive learning experiences, encourage healthy lifestyle choices, and increase community members’ access to fresh and affordable healthy produce. OUR HISTORY We were founded in 2018 by local philanthropist, Barbara Stein, inspired by the work of activist priest Father Michael Pfleger in Auburn Gresham on the south side of Chicago. Since our inception, children from the St. Sabina Academy and the community have come to the garden to learn how to grow food and develop a healthy lifestyle. From March 2020 until now, we have alternated in-person and virtual classes to serve our stakeholders. In 2020 we completed construction on a 6,000 sq. ft. farm and community food hub site at 7834 S. Racine. We distributed more than 5,800 home garden kits for students on Chicago’s South and West sides, collaborating with Chicago Grows Food. In 2021 we continued with Grow Kit production and distribution and opened Barbara’s Market, a weekly farm stand that offers fresh, locally-grown organic produce supported by a suggested donation model. OUR COMMUNITY Auburn Gresham (97% Black), located on the south side of Chicago, is ravaged by food insecurity and poverty. There is a 30-year life expectancy gap between predominantly White residents in Chicago’s Gold Coast and Auburn Gresham. A significant driver is the lack of access to quality produce and nutrition education. With the support of volunteers, students, and community leaders, we create food access opportunities and communicate the importance of encouraging healthy lifestyle choices.