Erika Allen discusses How to Cooperatively Address Food Insecurity in Urban Areas


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Vernon interviews Erika Allen, Co-Founder and CEO of Operations for Urban Growers Collective. Erika discusses the Urban Growers Collective’s apprenticeship program, and how the cooperative business model can be used to address food insecurity in urban areas.

Erika Allen is the Co-Founder and CEO of Operations for Urban Growers Collective, President of Green ERA Educational NFP and Co-Owner of Green Era Sustainability Partners. Previously, Allen founded and was the Director of Growing Power — Chicago from 2002 to 2017. She is the co-founder of the Chicago Food Policy Action Council, serves on the board of Grow Greater Englewood and Leadership Council for Growing Home, and is an advisor for the Community Food Navigator project. Allen has been appointed by IL Governor J.B. Pritzker for the IL Leadership Council for Agricultural Education (ICAE) for a 3 Year term (2022–24). Allen was recently appointed by the Biden Administration to join the Farm Service Agency Committee for Illinois. She is also a Co-Chair of the Food Equity Council for the City of Chicago. Allen received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MA in Art Psychotherapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


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