Meeting Market Demand for Local and Sustainable Food

Food:Land:Opportunity—Localizing the Chicago Foodshed is a multi-year initiative of The Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust that 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. Read the press release


Our Approach

Deploying a range of funding vehicles, from strategic grant making to a fellowship and innovation competition, Food:Land:Opportunity works to advance our region's ability to produce more sustainable local food.


Founded in


Founding Partners
  • Kinship Foundation
  • The Chicago Community Trust

Initiative Strategies
  • Increasing access to land for sustainable production
  • Strengthening the business skills of food practitioners
  • Attracting capital to the region's food system

Leading the Local Food Movement

Upcoming Opportunities

Funding for Food:Land:Opportunity will align with The Chicago Community Trust's competitive grant cycle. Here is a snapshot of expected projects:

Funding Date Project Title Funding Vehicle
Jan 2014 Food Business Accelerator Funded 
May 2014 Land Access Pilot(s) Funded
May 2014 Growers Network Funded
Sept 2014 Business Training in Urban Agriculture Funded
Sept 2014 Regional Food System Study  Funded
May 2015 Year 2 of Food Business Accelerator  Renewal 
May 2015 Year 2 of Land Access Pilot(s) Renewal 
May 2015 Year 2 of Growers Network  Renewal
Sept 2015 Innovation Competition Competitive RFP*
Sept 2015 Year 2 of Regional Food System Study  Renewal 
Sept 2015 Year 2 of Business Training in Urban Agriculture Renewal
Jan 2016 Partnership on Shared Regional Vision for Local and Sustainable Food  By invitation only 
Jan 2016 Local Food Business School Fellowships Competitive RFP*
May 2016 Year 3 of Land Access Pilot(s) Renewal 
Sept 2016 Local and Sustainable Food Conservation Campaign By invitation only 
Jan 2017 Year 2 of Shared Visioning  Renewal 
Sept 2017  Year 2 of Innovation Competition  Renewal 
Jan 2018 Best Practices Tool Kit  By invitation only 

*Organizations interested in applying for a competitive RFP should check back with our website six to four months prior to the funding date to access open RFPs.

To learn more, please contact or check out the FLO Earth Day tweet chat.


FLO Recent Grants

Aligned with our Regional Agenda
In Our Community's Interest