New Pilot Gardening Program To Provide Fresh Produce To South Side Communities

New Pilot Gardening Program To Provide Fresh Produce To South Side Communities
Community Garden. Photo credit Volodymyr Kyrylyuk/ Getty Images

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- There's a new pilot program to provide fresh produce to communities on the South Side of Chicago.

The Illinois Department of Human Services has announced a new Community Garden Pilot Project to provide fresh produce to communities on the South Side of Chicago that have a history of poverty and that have been hardest hit by COVID-19.

Antioch Haven Homes in the Englewood community on the South Side is the first site that will participate in the Community Garden Pilot Project. The fresh produce is being grown in the gardens on the property of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church's Antioch Haven Homes.

State officials said broccoli, collard greens, curly kale and stonehead cabbage will serve the residents of the 197 affordable housing units in Antioch Haven Homes. Antioch Missionary Baptist Church also plans to expand their community gardens to include all of their 600 units that serve more than 1200 people.

“We are excited to announce this great new pilot program and to offer fresh produce to some of the areas hardest hit by COVID-19 and poverty in Illinois,” IDHS Secretary Grace Hou said in a press release. “Fresh produce is an extremely important part of a healthy, long-term diet and even more so during a global pandemic. We hope to continue to build this program into additional underserved communities in the future.”