Healthy Food Access

Supporting Local Farms and Gardens

The Farm Fresh Atlas of Southeastern Wisconsin is a local food guide for the Milwaukee metropolitan area and surrounding counties.

The Atlas features farms and businesses that:

  • Are family or cooperatively owned
  • Operate in a way that protects and sustains the region's land and water resources
  • Provide safe and fair working conditions
  • Produce, use, or sell Wisconsin farm products

The Farm Fresh Atlas of Southeastern Wisconsin is available at a variety of locations in Southeastern Wisconsin including local libraries, businesses, convention and visitor bureaus, municipal buildings and farmers markets. 

Milwaukee Farmer's Markets

A number of Milwaukee's local farmers markets can process SNAP, WIC, FoodShare and Senior Program benefits. Find a list of those markets here, thanks to the Milwaukee Farmers Market Coalition and UW-Extension.

Fresh Food Access 

Through adoption of resolution file 160319, the Milwaukee Common Council directed the Department of City Development (DCD) to develop a Fresh Food Access Strategy "to support full access to affordable, fresh foods for residents in neighborhoods throughout Milwaukee."Milwaukee joins a number of communities nationwide in considering how best to implement measures to bring healthy food options to underserved neighborhoods.

Milwaukee's Fresh Food Access Report addresses local barriers that prevent members of our community from accessing fresh and healthy foods and develops strategies and action items to create a healthier, more equitable Milwaukee. 

One of these strategies is the new Fresh Food Access Fund (FFAF) which provides financial support to activities that increase fresh food access and healthy food choices in underserved communities. FFAF is available to for-profit and not-for-profit businesses aligned with the goal of the fund. Click here to learn more!

See below for examples of some of HOME GR/OWN's food access projects!

  • Cream City Farms
  • Cherry Court Orchard

The Story of Cream City Farms

In 2006, former Mayor Barrett announced an ambitious effort to transform the 30th Street Industrial Corridor into a major modern employment center and economic hub.  One of the early steps in this revitalization initiative was to inventory “brownfields” or sites with real or perceived contamination hindering redevelopment.  With the financial support of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee (RACM) was able to conduct environmental investigation at approximately 50 properties. 

2055-63 North 30th Street was one of these brownfield sites.  Past uses of the site included a lumber company, manufacturing and machining companies, a foundry, a trucking company, and a warehouse.  In 2006 – 2008, RACM sampled and analyzed soil and groundwater from the site and removed five leaking underground storage tanks, but residual contamination remained, hindering any redevelopment prospects. The City of Milwaukee foreclosed on the property in 2007 and transferred it to RACM in 2009. 

In 2009, the federal EPA funded an urban agriculture feasibility study at the site which engaged local urban agriculture stakeholders in a workshop to brainstorm possible site configuration and specific end uses. While the workshop and study generated ideas and introduced the site’s potential to the local community, remediation cost estimates remained prohibitively high and interest waned as the economic downturn hit.

The Cherry Court Orchard

The Cherry Court Orchard, a 2015 Partners for Places Project, was planted on Housing Authority property immediately adjacent to the existing and wonderful Cherry Court Community Garden. The garden and orchard are used by the residents of the nearby Cherry Court housing. Our site sponsor is Set Inc., which provides services to Cherry Court residents and the broader community. In initial discussions with SET and the residents, they requested that a new "resting" space be created in the orchard, after a hard day tending one's garden. Additionally, they asked the P4P team to build a hardscape path to increase access to the multiple, existing elevated raised bed plots reserved for those with pysical challenges. Given the size of the site and the desire to create a shady area at the site, the SET Orchard has a high tree count of 29, consisting of apples, pears, peached and cherries.

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