By Moria Nagy, DeKalb County Community Gardens President
Side of Vehicle displaying Safe Passage advertisement
DeKalb County Community Gardens is a non-profit organization that seeks to empower individuals to make healthy food choices. The organization managers over 50 community garden spaces and also the Walnut Grove Vocational Farm, a location that educates those with special needs in agricultural and horticultural techniques. The DCCG Grow-mobile is a refrigerated produce truck that serves as pop-up food pantry and education center for the residents of DeKalb County.
Our mobile Chef, Christy Sharp from the Kishwaukee Education Consortium
After being chosen as one of the Healthy Community 50 award recipients, the Grow-mobile was additionally funded by the generous support of other local grants and awards from the Dekalb County Community Foundation, The Horizon’s Unlimited Foundation, the Ideal Industries Foundation and the Sunrise DeKalb Rotary Club. The display signs on the vehicle were generously donated by Banner Up, a local printing and design business. In partnership with the Northern Illinois Food Bank, the Grow-mobile program is designed to provide fresh produce and other healthy dry goods, as well as food education programs to individuals who experience food insecurity in DeKalb County. We are very proud to display the logos of the initial funders of the Grow-mobile as well as utilize advertisement space to help support the program. Our first customer is the local women’s shelter, Safe Passage.
With our vehicle decorated and displaying great community support we will officially begin weekly Grow-mobile stops around our county, starting the first week of May and ending in September. Our mobile Chef, Christy Sharp from the Kishwaukee Education Consortium, will be joining us for some of our events. Christy has provided food demonstrations and samples of her recipes to our event participants to show them how to use some of our wonderful, locally grown produce. The Grow-mobile has been active all winter long delivering food to a few DeKalb locations.
Grow-mobile Events 2017
It has been making regular stops at Gideon Court Apartments, where many residents experience food insecurity. In February, the Grow-mobile began making regular once-a-month stops at the Kingston Friendship Center, in Kingston IL. The Friendship Center holds many local events, including a breakfast for community members in need. These initial stops for the 2018 season have shown that the Grow-mobile can potentially become a year round program, providing food to individuals in DeKalb County.#blog#communityengagement