Where to buy local food in Lake County? A new website leads the way

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Lake County residents have a new online tool to search for locally grown produce, farm-to-table businesses and more after the relaunch of the interactive Grow Lake County website.

The website lists 87 environmentally conscious organizations and businesses, from Adam’s Acres Organics, a Grayslake-area farm specializing in green and organic vegetables, to Zin Gastro Pub, a Lake Zurich restaurant that sources locally to 80% of its ingredients.

The relaunched map, which can be found at growlakecounty.org, coincides with the start of the spring growing season and farmers’ markets, a time when people are most interested and can access local foods, according to the Lake County Community. Foundation. The foundation funds the Grow Lake County website with two partner organizations.

The map will take residents to 18 farmers’ markets, 15 farm stands, 11 community gardens and two Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, programs where residents can subscribe to receive regular produce from local farms.

“Lake County has a unique and robust local food system, including incredible family farms,” ​​said Maggie Morales, executive director of the Lake County Community Foundation. “Whether residents are looking to buy local food, grow their own, or get involved with local food groups and organizations, we view Grow Lake County as a one-stop resource.”

The foundation launched Grow Lake County in 2018 with partners the Liberty Prairie Foundation and the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

The website also provides information on how residents can plan their own garden or get involved with the county’s local food producer community.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

Outside of the website, the foundation says it has raised more than $23 million since 2003 from philanthropists and donors in an effort to improve the lives of the county’s most vulnerable residents.

In 2017, the foundation launched a three-year investment to increase access to nutritious and affordable food in Lake County. The initiative resulted in the distribution of nearly 8 million pounds of food.

Emily Weber, the foundation’s director of community programs and investments, said the group is looking for bigger investment opportunities to address other systemic issues in the county.

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