CHICAGO – Les Kniskern, Executive Director of Neighborhood Nutrition Centers, will receive 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar’s Community Service Award at the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce Fundraiser and Dinner Dance on Friday, November 18, 2011, being held at The Dank Haus, 4740 North Western Avenue.
This award is in recognition for the work of providing locally grown, fresh produce to area residents who are in need of nutritional assistance.
In July, 2011, Neighborhood Nutrition Centers held the first in a series of monthly community meetings focusing on “Building a Local Food System.” Partnerships with local backyard gardeners, Waters Elementary School Community Gardens, Northside College Prep High School garden project, Urban Habitat Chicago, and the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce Community Garden were formed to collect excess greens and vegetables being produced through these sites.
The final piece of the puzzle came together when approached by Ravenswood Community Services to become the distribution point for this locally grown produce. The partnership was immediately formed and weekly deliveries to the food pantry and community kitchen began on August 23, 2011. In keeping with its mission to Grow Local * Eat Local * Feed Your Neighbor, Neighborhood Nutrition Centers has harvested and distributed over 550 lbs of neighbor fresh produce since its inaugural delivery.
“This award symbolizes not just my work, but the great community engagement of our neighbors and partner organizations,” said Kniskern. “I’m proud to help serve those less fortunate, and grateful to our neighbors, schools and community gardens who generously give from their garden bounty.”
Ravenswood Community Services serves a hot meal to 126 and distributes 350 – 400 bags of groceries each Tuesday evening to neighbors of the Uptown, Ravenswood and Lincoln Square communities. Ravenswood Community Services is located at the All Saint’s Episcopal Church at 1721 West Wilson Avenue.