Local school districts 


Adopted by the District 202 Board of Education (Evanston Township High

School) and District 65 in 2009



WHEREAS, District 65 and District 202 serve approximately 4,000 reimbursable meals per day (1,000 reimbursable meals from D202) of which about 75 percent (70% at D202) are subsidized by the federal government to ensure that low-income children receive the nutrition needed to enhance the capacity to learn; and  


WHEREAS, the districts’ “free” and “reduced” meal programs are administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National School Lunch Program; and  


WHEREAS, the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 states “each local education agency participating in a program authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.) or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq) shall establish a local school wellness policy for schools under the local educational agency; and


WHEREAS, both Districts 65 and District 202 have wellness committees created for the purpose of meeting these federal requirements; and


WHEREAS, District 65 and District 202 administrators recognize an improvement in the nutritional value of the school meal programs over the last five years; and  


WHEREAS, this improvement is the result of USDA and food manufacturers responding to the demands of various constituencies; and


WHEREAS, the Obama administration promises to continue to improve federal nutrition programs in order to help “reduce hunger and poverty, prevent obesity, strengthen schools and child care programs, and boost children’s health, development and school achievement;” and


WHEREAS,  there are 2,016 farm-to-school programs nationwide, involving 2,039 school districts and 8,776 schools from 40 states in local efforts that build on the connection between healthy food, wellness and learning by fostering knowledge about how food is grown and prepared as a means to promote healthy eating habits; and


WHEREAS, at least 10 state governments have formed advisory food councils—inclusive stakeholder groups that seek to increase the percentage of food grown, processed, distributed and consumed within the boundaries of a particular state; and 


WHEREAS, the Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force has found that Illinois consumers spend approximately $48 billion in annual food expenditures, of which more than 95 percent is “exported” out of state*; and


WHEREAS, the March 2009 report of the Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force is the basis for the Illinois Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Act of 2009 (IL House Bill 3990) which aims to “facilitate the growth of an Illinois-based local farm and food  product economy that revitalizes rural and urban communities,  promotes healthy eating with access to fresh foods, creates  jobs, ensures a readily available supply of safe food in an  emergency event, and supports economic growth through making  local farm or food products available to all Illinois citizens;” and


WHEREAS, HB 3990 will support economic activities that will result in increased tax revenues for all units of government; and


WHEREAS, HB 3990 proposes establishment of the Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Council to foster development of a viable local food system marketplace that will enable institutions such as public schools, child-care  facilities, and after-school programs to purchase 10% of food and food products from local sources by 2020; 


RESOLVED that District 65 and District 202 thank our school community’s representatives in the Illinois General Assembly—Rep. Julie Hamos for being the champion of this statewide initiative and State Rep. Elizabeth Coulson and Sen. Jeff Schoenberg for signing on as sponsors of HB 3990 which will assist Illinois school districts in developing partnerships necessary to increase the supply of quality food options for their students and also may assist districts in achieving their wellness goals;


RESOLVED that District 65 and District 202 ask our school community’s representatives in the U.S. Congress—Cong. Jan Schakowsky and U.S. Senators Richard Durbin and Roland Burris—to support provisions in the reauthorization of the federal Child Nutrition Act of 2004 that will help ensure that all schools have the resources to serve fresh and healthy meals; provide high-quality nutrition education; and to engage their local communities in the development/implementation of effective wellness programs.


*Note: The current ISBE procurement guidelines state that a district may not limit a bid to the State of IL but can establish a geographic area by mileage.  I.e. A bid could state that the District request fresh produce grown within 100 miles of Evanston.  The District  cannot spec the produce must come from the State of IL, Cook County, etc.



City of Evanston


1975—Farmers Market Established

2006– Evanston Climate Action Plan (2006) and the City’s last Strategic Plan



Recent initiatives: 


Neighborhood Garden and Urban Farm Application

Here is the web page that has the information related to the neighborhood gardens and urban farms ordinance.



Bee Keeping

If someone wants to get a permit to keep bees, below is the page for that.



Cottage Food License

If someone wants to make foods in their home (maybe harvested from a neighborhood garden) and sold at a farmers market, here is the application for that:



New Water Service

If someone wants a NEW water service (for a lot with no working water service, such as an empty lot), here is the application for that:



Building Permits

For a larger site improvement (such as for an Urban Farm) a building permit is needed. 



Backyard Hens


Ordinance allows up to 20 permits to own hens for eggs/pets




Eight Years of Illinois State Legislative Accomplishments 



The Illinois Stewardship Alliance compiled the following list of 12 Illinois state laws support local food. They were passed between 2007 and 2014. 


2007—Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Act (Sponsored by Rep. Julie Hamos and Sen. Jacqueline Collins)(PA: 95-0145)


Authorized creation of IL Local Organic Food Farm Task Force to produce recommendations for effective state response to strongest food trend in decades.


2009—Illinois Local Food Farms and Jobs Act (Sponsored by Rep. Julie Hamos and Sen. Jacqueline Collins)(PA: 96-0579)


Authorized creation of IL Local Food Farms Jobs Council to serve as a conduit between the people of Illinois and state government by facilitating projects and networks that promote local food demand, access, production and infrastructure.


2009 – Farm Fresh Schools Program Act (Sponsored by Rep. Sandy Cole & Sen. David Koehler) (PA: 96-0153)


Created the Farm Fresh Schools competitive grant program to be administered at the Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Health in order to provide grants to farm-to-school projects to support healthy eating, obesity prevention and farmers. 


2010—Farmers’ Market Technology Improvement Program Act (Sponsored by: Rep. LaShawn Ford and Sen. Toi Hutchinson)(PA: 96-1088)

Created the farmers market technology improvement program to be administered by the Department of Human Services to help farmers market and similar nontraditional fresh food markets purchase the necessary infrastructure to accept Link card for the use of SNAP benefits for farm fresh food, pay transaction fees and engage in outreach.


2011— Farmers Market Task Force Bill (SB1492) (Sponsored by Sen. David Luechtefeld and Rep. Mike Bost) 


Created the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Farmers Market Task Force to foster dialogue between food, farm and public health stakeholders and to assist the department in developing guidance and administrative rules regarding food safety issues at farmers markets. 


2011—Cottage Food Law (Sen. David Koehler and Rep. Lisa Dugan) (PA: 97-0393)


Amended state food sanitation laws to allow farmers and entrepreneurs under certain conditions to process and package non-potentially hazardous baked goods, jams, jellies and dried herbs in their home kitchens for sale directly to consumer at farmers markets.  


(More info: http://www.ilstewards.org/policy-work/illinois-cottage-food-law/)


2012—Farmers Markets and Convention Centers – (Sponsored by Rep. Renee Kosel and Sen. David Koehler)(PA: 97-1015)


Amends the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois. It provides that the Department has the power and duty to encourage convention center boards throughout the State to provide convention center space at a reduced rate or without charge to local farmers’ markets to use the space to hold the market when inclement weather prevents holding the market at its regular outdoor location. 


2013—Rural On-farm Composting (Sponsored by Rep. Brad Halbrook and Sen. David Koehler) (PA: 98-0484)


Expanded the existing on-farm agricultural composting exemption to include agricultural wastes such as crop residue, animal bedding and up to 10% additives (food scrap and manure) in addition to landscape waste and creates an option for local government by ordinance to set smaller set-backs for agriculture composting operations than that set in state law. 


2013—Urban Agriculture Composting (Sponsor Rep. Robyn Gabel and Sen. Heather Steans)(PA: 98-239)


Created an exemption from EPA waste disposal laws for community gardens to accept from off-site and compost up to 25 cubic yards of compostable materials to use on-site as soil amendments. Creates an on-farm urban composting exemption (similar to the rural on-farm exemption) that allows local governments to create ordinances for the purpose of supporting urban agriculture composting for those community gardens and urban agriculture projects are composting more than 25 cubic yards


2013—Eat Local Buy Illinois Day (Sponsored by Sen. David Koehler and Rep. Sam Yingling)(PA: 98-0341)


Designates the first Saturday of each month as Eat Local, Buy Illinois Products Day. It directs the Department of Agriculture’s Illinois Product Logo Program to assist in increasing awareness and sales of Illinois food and agribusiness products.


2014—Smarter Rules for Farmers Markets (Sponsored by Rep. Michael Tryon and Sen. David Koehler)(PA: 98-0660)


Instructed the IDPH Farmers Market Task Force to create streamlined and consistent statewide food sanitation rules and regulations for farmers markets and to create a new Food Sampling Certificate program for vendors at farmers markets to more easily offer samples of their products. The bill also capped the registration fees local health departments can charge cottage food operations at $25/year and created new product origin transparency rules for farmers markets to help consumers identify locally grown farm products. 


2014—Food/Grocery type Co-op Financing Reform (Sponsored by Sen. Don Harmon and Rep. Barbara Wheeler) (PA: 98-1122)


Increased from 5 to 10 the number of shares for which a person may subscribe or control as part of membership to a grocery store type cooperative business. Increased from $100 to $1,000 the maximum subscription price per share and increased from $500 to $10,000 the maximum value of stock issued to any one shareholder.


The following five legislative resolutions supporting local food were adopted between 2010-2014:


2010—House Joint Resolution 57 (Rep. Bill Black and Sen. Mike Frerichs)


Urged the Illinois Department of Public Health to create a farmers market task force. 


2010–Senate Joint Resolution 105 (Sen. David Koehler)


Urged the Department of Agriculture to establish Driftwatch in IL, a database meant to help protect specialty crops, apiaries, vineyards and organic farms from pesticide drift.


2012—House Resolution 734 (Rep. Kelly Burke) 


Encouraged the IL Congressional delegation to support local food provisions in the federal Farm Bill.


2012—Senate Resolution SR 530 (Sen. David Koehler) 


Encouraged the IL Congressional delegation to support local food provisions in the federal Farm Bill.


2014—House Resolution 1093 (Rep. Robyn Gabel) 


Advocated that the Governor’s Office coordinate the networking capability of six state entities–the Illinois Commission to End Hunger; the Illinois Commission on the Eradication of Poverty; the Illinois Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Council; the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service; the Illinois Task Force of Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise; and the Illinois Business Development Council.   These entities possess networking capability to support community-based food, nutrition, and Ag initiatives designed to reduce hunger/poverty. 

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