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DCCG receives grant from First Midwest Bank for technology, livestock and produce

DeKalb County Community Gardens (DCCG) received $5,000 from the First Midwest Charitable Foundation to purchase technology and locally-raised livestock and produce.

An initial $2,500 grant was awarded for the purchase of two computer tablets to facilitate patron registration within two of DCCG’s community food needs programs: the Grow Mobile, a mobile food pantry and education center, and the food pantry at the Genoa Area Community Food Hub.

“Having a computer tablet will make collecting information at our food distributions much more efficient,” says Elijah Saucedo, DCCG’s Community Food Needs Director. “That information will be centralized and easier to access so that we can learn how to better serve our community and make sure we provide the best experience possible.”

“The grant application included the opportunity to request an additional $2,500,” said Heather Edwards, DCCG Associate Director. “We explained that we’d use that additional grant to purchase livestock from a local farmer and have it processed locally. The fresh meat would then be shared with food insecure residents in DeKalb County through the Grow Mobile and the Genoa Hub food pantry.”

First Midwest Bank employees were encouraged to submit grant nominations for local non-profit organizations that accelerate momentum for people, momentum for businesses, provide COVID-19 relief or advance social justice and equality in bank’s market area.

DCCG was nominated by Hannah Davekos, Branch Manager of First Midwest Bank in Genoa, who said “this grant could not have gone to a more deserving organization.”

“As an organization, DCCG has hit just about every aspect of what First Midwest Bank is looking for in the organizations it supports,” she said. “Through the Grow Mobile, Genoa Area Community Food Hub, Walnut Grove Vocational Farms and so much more, DCCG not only provides life-enriching food and resources for people hit heavily by the ramifications of COVID-19, but it also addresses multiple social justice needs by serving food in low income communities, and providing valuable job and life experience through Walnut Grove Vocational Farms for our community members with who are developmentally disabled.”

The technology and food obtained from the grant will help sustain DCCG’s efforts to ensure that no one goes hungry in DeKalb County and the organization’s ability to share fresh, nutritious foods that may not be readily available to all residents in the community. The purchase of produce from local producers will help supplement DCCG’s current community food distributions.

Since mid-March of this year, DCCG has distributed free groceries to more than 130,000 people.

For more information about DeKalb County Community Gardens, visit www.dekalbgardens.org.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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