Kraft Foods Garden will Feed Hungry in Northern Illinois

Kraft Foods brought the fight against hunger to its own soil. Yesterday together with the Chicago Botanic Garden, the company unveiled a three-season fruit and vegetable garden growing on the campus of Kraft Foods global headquarters near Chicago. When gathered the harvest will become food for the hungry in northern Illinois.

The Kraft Foods Garden will produce an estimated 14,000 pounds of food every yearthe equivalent of 28,000 meals. All of the food harvested will be donated to local agencies, including soup kitchens and food pantries in the networks of the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Northern Illinois Food Bank, in addition to Women, Infant and Children (WIC) centers in Cook and Lake Counties.

«As the world’s second largest food company, we have a responsibility to fight hunger around the globe – including in our own backyard,» said Marc Firestone, brainchild of the project and Kraft Foods’ Executive Vice President, Corporate & Legal Affairs and General Counsel. «This garden is another way our employees can volunteer their time to make a delicious difference in our community, while establishing a sustainable method of fighting hunger right here in Illinois.»

The 8,000-square-foot garden crops include organically grown lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, beets, cucumbers and many more varieties of nutritious produce, among the most in-demand items at hunger-relief organizations.

The Kraft Foods Garden has been projected and will be maintained by Chicago Botanic Garden’s Windy City Harvest program with help from Kraft Foods employee volunteers. The Windy City Harvest Program is a nine-month skills-training and job-placement program. Participants from City Colleges of Chicago get an advanced continuing education certificate in sustainable horticulture and urban agriculture.

The staff from the Windy City Harvest Program will be teaching a series of gardening classes to Kraft Foods employees to support engagement in the Kraft Foods Garden and to encourage gardening at home.

Gardening is an initiative promoted and supported by many famous brands such as Lay’s and Heinz that launched ‘gardening campaigns’ as well.