Food:Land:Opportunity is a multi-year initiative that aims to create a resilient local food economy that protects and conserves land and other natural resources while promoting market innovation and building wealth and assets in the Chicago region’s communities.

Located on rich soils near one of the world’s largest freshwater sources, the Chicago region has relied on farming to support its economy for centuries. Yet the conventional agricultural system in the Midwest is largely designed and driven by commodity producers of corn and soybeans.

The movement to grow and produce food in this region close to the Chicago market is gaining traction. The impacts of climate change, and the inequities of accessible healthy fresh food for people throughout the region point to the need for a resilient local food economy. Building a local and sustainable food system represents a compelling economic opportunity with the potential for unprecedented positive conservation impact.


Funded through the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust, Food:Land:Opportunity is a collaboration between Kinship Foundation and The Chicago Community Trust.

Kinship Foundation is a private operating foundation that encourages systems change through investing in individuals, encouraging innovation and risk-taking, and leveraging collaboration. Kinship Foundation has three primary areas of focus: biomedical research, environmental conservation, and education. Foundation initiatives include Bridges to Brighter Futures, Food:Land:Opportunity, Kinship Conservation Fellows, and the Searle Scholars Program. Kinship Foundation develops and supports Chicago-based grant making initiatives through the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust.

The Chicago Community Trust is a community foundation dedicated to strengthening the Chicago region and improving the lives of the people who call it home. For more than 100 years, the Trust has served as a trusted philanthropic partner, connecting the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to nonprofit organizations working to create lasting change. Following the creation of a new strategic plan in 2019, the Trust stands committed to addressing Chicago’s legacy of systemic inequity and closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap, while continuing to respond to the critical needs of our most vulnerable residents. The Trust administers more than $360 million in annual grant making as part of its commitment to equity, opportunity and prosperity for the Chicago region.


Contact program staff or sign up to receive email updates.

Kinship Foundation

Lenore Beyer
Director of Conservation Initiatives

The Chicago Community Trust

Michael Davidson
Senior Director – Community Impact

Image: Green City Market