Grow Lake County

In mid-2017, the Liberty Prairie Foundation launched the Grow Lake County Project, a dynamic initiative designed to strengthen and support the county’s food system. With generous support from The Lake County Community Foundation, LPF will expand its fresh food distribution programs in underserved communities and streamline the county’s food system by creating the Grow Lake County website, designed to connect myriad food system stakeholders.

As part of the project, we were also able to extend our Gleaning Program in partnership with Prairie Wind Family Farm through the end of October. Next season we plan to launch a new fresh food distribution program to make affordable, nutritious food more available in a low access community. Planning for that program will continue this winter as it will launch in the summer of 2018.

Over the past few years, Liberty Prairie Foundation staff have identified the need for a more cohesive and informed county food system. Many surrounding counties have websites that provide a great deal of information about their food systems and community-based efforts. These sites serve as a hub of information for people interested in engaging in their food system across the spectrum–from growing to purchasing local food. Currently, Lake County is without an umbrella site like this to pull information together and highlight the incredible momentum we have in our county.

LPF in partnership with the Lake County Local Food Task Force and with support of The Lake County Community Foundation, is currently scoping and building a virtual information hub to help fill this information gap. The Grow Lake County website will connect and inform consumers, producers, entrepreneurs, organizations, and communities resulting in a more coordinated and streamlined Lake County food system.

The site will include:

  • Where to purchase local food
  • Profile innovative projects
  • Highlight organizations that are using food as community and workforce development tools
  • List community gardens and other local efforts
  • Contain resources for both consumers and producers
  • Provide information about volunteer opportunities

Compiled information from across the county and region will create better connectivity between efforts and improve food and nutrition literacy for all in Lake County. We hope to launch the site in the summer of 2018. If you know of organizations that should be profiled, or have suggestions on content, please email Emily(at)libertyprairie.org. Stay tuned for more information and updates!