Little Village – Creating a Solidarity Economy: Centro de Solidaridad Mi Villita
LVEJO and Delta Institute will create a new community hub at 2358 S. Whipple to provide Little Village and Southwest Chicago — composed primarily of working Latino American families — with food equity and economic development opportunities. Little Village is between the Stevenson Expressway, Cermak, Western, and Cicero.
Collaborators include the Street Vendors Association, Little Village Gardeners Coalition, Chicago Food Policy Action Council, and Just Design. 2358 S. Whipple is a former Chicago Fire Department engine house that will become a community hub/commercial kitchen — along with a satellite retail storefront — to:
Offer 150 food-cart entrepreneurs with professional-grade equipment to prepare food for sale — keeping dollars local and increasing household incomes and economic self-sufficiency by 2023.
Establish a worker-led cooperative to manage the kitchen and a cooperative satellite retail storefront by 2023.
Serve as the heart of a sustainable food network by 2023, with entrepreneurs purchasing organic produce from the LVEJO Urban Farm and sending produce waste to the planned LVEJO commercial composting site.
Establish an open-access venue for consistent programming for both LVEJO and local advocates by 2023.
Create a ripple effect from an estimated $8 million in food cart revenues to increase economic sustainability and uplift community members by 2030.
Creating a Solidarity Economy: Centro de Solidaridad Mi Villita is led by Bill Schleizer and Kim Wasserman.