Developing a Health Food Hub in the Chicagoland Area
Formerly one of the country’s leading Black farming communities, Pembroke Township endured decades of federal redlining, disinvestment, and land seizure that robbed residents of their property and livelihood. Today, the community once again faces the threat of losing land, this time to the speculative market.
The Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living is an organization working to prevent the loss of community-held land in Pembroke Township and other vulnerable neighborhoods in the greater Chicago metropolitan area by restoring it for farming. Through its Pembroke Farmland Restoration Initiative and Healthy Food Hub, the Center has cultivated a robust supply of local foods grown by black and brown producers for distribution in food-insecure area communities.
Support from the Bezos Earth Fund will help the Center expand its reach to restore 500 additional acres of land for farming; provide technical support and supplies to 25 additional brown- and Black-owned farms; train community residents in regenerative agriculture, renewable energy, climate-resilience, and sustainable building techniques; and add 250 acres to a community land trust that will be managed by local farmers.