Our Current Members


Members of Fresh Taste at Prairie Crossing Farm, 2012

Nearly a dozen foundations are members of Fresh Taste, with additional participation from the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development. We welcome additional members. Contact us to learn more.

Current members

The Chicago Community Trust
The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, connects the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. In its grantmaking, the Trust prioritizes education and economic development; health, housing and human services; civic and cultural vitality; and sustainable development.

Hanley Foundation
George and Amanda Hanley established the Hanley Foundation in 1997 with an interest in protecting the planet and helping underserved populations prosper. Today the Foundation supports organizations working to advance transformative educational, environmental and empowerment solutions. Strengthening a sustainably-grown Midwest foodshed has become a focus area that overlaps with many other grantmaking priorities, including organic agriculture, conservation, climate change, clean energy, public health, economic opportunity and environmental education.

J.R. Albert Foundation
J. R. Albert was interested in promoting healthy living and wellness, and hoped that the growing prevalence of obesity-related diseases and their effects on quality of life could be prevented whenever possible. Founded in 2007, the J. R. Albert Foundation provides support to nonprofit organizations whose purpose is to increase access to healthy foods by developing local food delivery systems; provide food to those who are in need; and to offer nutrition and wellness education and opportunities.

Kinship Foundation
Kinship Foundation is a private operating foundation established to support the Searle family’s institutional philanthropy. Kinship develops programs and initiatives in the fields of conservation, education, and biomedical research. One of its programs, Food:Land:Opportunity—Localizing the Chicago Foodshed, is a multi-year initiative of The Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust. It aims to strengthen the resiliency of our region by increasing the supply of local and sustainable food. With natural resource conservation at its core, Food:Land:Opportunity leverages the ingenuity of local farmers and food business entrepreneurs—through the agencies and organizations that support their work—to steward the environment and strengthen local food enterprises.

Jeff Miller, Sandhill Family Farms, provides mentoring to Nick Choate-Batchelder, Midnight Sun Farm, through the Farm Business Development Center at the Prairie Crossing Farm in Grayslake, supported by the Liberty Prairie Foundation.

Leo S. Guthman Family Fund
The Leo S. Guthman Family Fund is a private family foundation which aims to improve people’s lives and strengthen communities. The Fund supports nonprofit organizations which provide programs and support to unite communities and tackle the challenges of vulnerable people, improve people’s health and vitality and encourage youth to be leaders.  In 2013, the Leo S. Guthman Family Fund initiated a new grantmaking category called Urban Gardening and Agriculture.  They consider proposals from organizations that use urban gardens and farms as a means to improve neighborhoods and provide produce for people with limited access.

Liberty Prairie Foundation
The Liberty Prairie Foundation is a private operating foundation located in Grayslake, Illinois. They are nationally recognized as a leader in developing and supporting enterprises that build and strengthen our local food system while enhancing the natural landscape in the Chicago region.  Since 1993, the Foundation has provided leadership and financial support for food systems programs, social entrepreneurship, land conservation and preservation, environmental education, and civic engagement. They are headquartered at the Prairie Crossing Farm, a working organic farm nestled inside Prairie Crossing, the nationally-recognized conservation community.

The Lumpkin Family Foundation
The Lumpkin Family Foundation is a private family foundation created in 1953 from the estate of Besse A. Lumpkin of Mattoon, Illinois. They make grants and conduct programs that support people pursuing innovation and long-lasting improvements in the environment, health, education and community access to the arts. Conservation in downstate Illinois has been a central part of the Foundation’s mission since the early 1990s, when members of the Lumpkin family first started to plan their philanthropy together. In recent years, grants have increasingly gone to encouraging the localization of our food system.

Community farmers at the Garfield Park Garden Network Neighborhood Market, supported by the Walter S. Mander Foundation.

Community farmers at the Garfield Park Garden Network Neighborhood Market, supported by the Walter S. Mander Foundation.

New Visions Foundation
New Visions Foundation is a private family foundation that supports a more compassionate, life-affirming, and sustainable culture.  It helps visionary organizations promote wider recognition and acceptance of cultural alternatives that address the challenges of our time, and establish working models of engaged, effective action, shifting the prevailing worldview.   The Foundation funds the following key areas: New Economy/ sustainability/ resilience movement; food systems; holistic education; giving voice to marginalized communities; and promoting an ecological worldview.

Walter S. Mander Foundation
The Walter S. Mander Foundation is the legacy of the late Walter “Wally” Mander, a refugee from Nazi Germany who settled in Chicago and went on to achieve great success in the U.S meatpacking industry during the 1960s and 1970s. The Foundation’s work honors the interests and accomplishments of Mr. Mander during his lifetime. Grants are made to support Chicago-area organizations working in the areas of community gardening, urban agriculture and community development, as well as organizations seeking to strengthen local food and agriculture businesses..