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Community Food Organizations                                                                         

This page created by Robert Strayhorn, our 2016 Earn & Learn high school intern!

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Walnut Way-

Walnut Way Conservation Corp. (Walnut Way) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit neighborhood organization founded by residents in 2000. Walnut Way’s resident-driven programs have focused on launching and sustaining experiential educational initiatives that inform and engage youth and adult residents in: Civic and community leadership, Housing construction, restoration, Stewardship of environmental resources, and Economic Development. Walnut Way residents and volunteers have five years of successful experience in urban-ecology-based initiatives, transforming their neighborhood via urban agriculture, art and neighborhood cohesion. Walnut Way creates and manages gardening, wellness and nutrition programs for youth and adults. Their Blue Skies Landscaping division employs and trains neighborhood men in green infrastructure and landscaping skills. 

Cooperative Institute for urban Agriculture and Nutrition-

In 2011, Growing Power Founder Will Allen and former UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Mike Lovell brainstormed an idea to develop a partnership that fosters academic, community and civic collaborations focused on advancing urban agriculture and nutrition. This idea would formulate into the Institute for urban agriculture and nutrition (IUAN), a unique environmental edifying program. IUAN seeks to bring people together from various backgrounds and disciplines to contribute to a sustainable food system. Their main efforts are to: support community efforts to secure funding for work that furthers sustainable urban agriculture and nutrition, support collaboration, research and education programs related to sustainable food systems, promoting social and economic justice by improving the health and nutrition of urban residents, and exploring new roads for economic development and much more.

Core El Centro-

CORE/El Centro is a non-profit organization offering natural healing and wellness services in Spanish and English - all on a sliding fee scale. They offer integrative healing services such as acupuncture, massage therapy and body work; gardening and nutrition programs; children's wellness; social change through community health advocacy; and movement classes. Their goal is to inspire individuals, families and communities to achieve optimal health. 

Elyve Organics-

ELYVE (prounounced EE-līve), is a social entrepreneurship company based in Milwaukee, WI, that provides commercial and residential pick-up services of organic compostable materials. Once collected, ELYVE then convert and turn the organic waste into premium organic products. ELYVE’s Organic mission is to convert large quantities of agricultural waste into beneficial and environmentally safe products. The business strives to develop safe and biodegradable soil enhancers, organic composts and other organic based products in a cost effective and ecologically manner.

UW-Milwaukee County Extension-

The University of Wisconsin–Extension (UW–Extension) is the outreach arm of the University of Wisconsin System. It provides statewide access to university resources and research to Wisconsin residents of all ages. UW–Extension extends the boundaries of the university to the boundaries of the state through its four divisions of Cooperative Extension, Continuing and Online Education, Business and Entrepreneurship, and Public Broadcasting. It was created as a division of UW-Madison in 1906, and took its current form in 1965. The Extensions most favored quotation is “We teach, learn, lead and serve, connecting people with the University of Wisconsin, and engaging with them in transforming lives and communities.” Extension manages multiple, large community gardens in the area and provides gardening, nutrition and food processing classes. They also train and mentor urban agriculture entrepreneurs.

Alice's Garden-

A Milwaukee two acre urban community garden, Alice's Garden serves as a place of reclaiming and nourishing cultural and family traditions connected to food and land. Alice's Garden, run by Venice Williams, has been in existence for thirty years, creating a place of hope, understanding and healing via a major food, flower and herb production garden at 21st & Garfield. Alice's Garden and the associated Body & Soul Healing Arts Center offer a place for community coooking classes, indoor farmers markets, reading circles and is the home of the Milwaukee Food Council. Alice's Garden offers various programming including Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids; Seedfolks Roots and Fieldhands and Foodways. The site honors the Garden's historical setting of the birthplace of the underground Railroad in Wisconsin. Click on Facebook for current events - website is under reconstruction.

Growing Power-

Growing Power is a national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities. Growing Power implements this mission by providing hands-on training, on-the-ground demonstration, outreach and technical assistance through the development of Community Food Systems that help people grow, process, market and distribute food in a sustainable manner Growing Power transforms communities by supporting people from diverse backgrounds and the environments in which they live through the development of Community Food Systems. These systems provide high-quality, safe, healthy, affordable food for all residents in the community. Since 1993, Growing Power has built community relationships, offered training and hands-on experiences to continue our mission. They are excited to be a national leader of the Good Food Movement and look forward to the next twenty years!

Fondy Food Center-

The Fondy Farm Project was established in 2010 to support farmers selling at the Fondy Farmers Market. The Fondy Food Center connects Greater Milwaukee to local, fresh food – from farm to market to table – so that children learn better, adults live healthier, and communities celebrate cultural food traditions. From the programs like Fondy Farmers Market on Milwaukee’s Northside to the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers Market to the Fondy Farm – Fondy’s projects work together to improve fresh, local food access for all Milwaukeeans while supporting small farmers.

Teens Grow Greens-

Teens Grow Greens is the foundational program of the 501 (c) (3) non-profit, We Grow Greens Inc. During a nine month paid internship, teenagers develop skills through hands-on experience in responsibility, healthy living, leadership and entrepreneurship. Their vision is to have each teenager leave with being a purposeful leader in their own life and the lives of others. Teen members grow food, create products and market them to the community.

Groundwork Milwaukee-

Groundwork Milwaukee is part of the Groundwork USA network of independent, not-for-profit, environmental businesses called Groundwork Trusts. Groundwork Milwaukee has a strong focus on the creation and management of Milwaukee's community gardens system. Their Green Team initiative hires at-risk youth and provides them with seasonal employment and job training. The mission of the Groundwork USA network is to bring about the sustained regeneration, improvement and management of the physical environment by developing community-based partnerships which empower people, businesses and organizations to promote environmental, economic and social well-being.

Victory Garden Initiative-

Victory Garden Initiatives mission is to build communities that grow their own food, creating a community-based, socially just, environmentally sustainable, nutritious food system for all. Victory Garden believes that every person, in every household, can connect to their food source through the act of growing it. They also believe that growing food will re-integrate them with deep ecology, guiding our culture towards a sustainable, abundant future, freed from financial inequalities. They are quoted in saying , “Envision our post-industrial world transformed to an abundant and sustainable ecosystem through the reintroduction of food growing into our urban ecology. When fruit trees fill our parks, and nut trees are harvested by our neighbors, when food pantries house vegetable gardens and school children participate in growing their lunches, we will have a secure, sovereign, socially just and sustainable food system.” VGI's annual Blitz installs more than 500 raised bed gardens in the Milwaukee area during the month of May.

Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers-

Since 1969, Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers has provided high quality health care, health education and social services for residents of the multi-cultural neighborhoods on Milwaukee’s South Side. As an independent non-profit agency, Sixteenth Street now operates at five locations; Sixteenth Street is the only source of medical care for more than 7,500 individuals without any health insurance and nearly 19,000 patients who rely on the Medicaid program. Their comprehensive health services include adult and pediatric medicine, behavioral health services, social services, women’s health, HIV prevention and treatment and an array of other supplemental programs for their patients. What sets Sixteenth Street apart from the rest is its innovative programming and dedication to the complete health of the individual as well as the overall health of the broader community.

Milwaukee Food Council-

The Milwaukee Food Council has been working toward developing a common agenda to address food insecurity in Milwaukee, ensuring that ALL Milwaukee residents have geographic access to affordable and desirable food which tastes good and promotes positive health outcomes. The MFC meets every other month and creates a network of organizations and individuals working toward the common goals of increased public health, fighting food injustice and a stronger local, healthy food system.The Milwaukee Food Council is committed to a healthy food culture that builds community, respects food sovereignty, connects people to the environment, promotes health, encourages food literacy, and embraces equity as an essential principle across the food system spectrum. The MFC is in the process of moving to 501c3 status to better serve the local food community.


Tim McCollow
HOME GR/OWN Program Manager
(414) 286-3748


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Funds donated to HOME GR/OWN will be used to support City-owned vacant lot projects which coincide with the following HOME GR/OWN objectives:

  • Increase access to local, healthy food
  • Revitalizing/engaging communities

HOME GR/OWN and Mayor Tom Barret Initiative

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HOME GR/OWN Milwaukee empowers residents to transform neighborhoods by transforming vacant lots into community assets that spark new economic opportunities around local, healthy food production and distribution and healthy, vibrant new community spaces.

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