2016 Food to Market Challenge Grantee Convening
Evaluating an Innovative Local Food Grant Competition
One year after funding the 2016 Food to Market Challenge, a $500,000 grant competition to better connect and develop the Chicago region’s local food supply chain, Food:Land:Opportunity (FLO) sought to learn from their grantees’ successes and challenges. Foresight convened and facilitated a gathering of FLO staff and grantees to share lessons learned and best practices.
The Food to Market Challenge involved two key innovations: applicants were required to compete in teams of organizations representing different sectors in the local food supply chain; and their efforts were intended to yield both direct impact and capacity-building that benefited the local food system as a whole. Foresight’s pre-convening interviews, event design, and final report to FLO analyzed grantees’ accomplishments and barriers on three levels: collaboration within the cross-sector teams; interventions in the supply chain; and impacts across the larger local food system. These findings will inform FLO’s future funding and grantees’ ongoing project efforts.