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Last week, you read all about 2010-2011 Chicago Schweitzer Fellow, and Rush University College of Medicine student, Vivian Leung and the work she has been doing to address the problem of ‘food deserts’ in Chicago- ultimately aiming to empower underserved elementary schoolers and their families to overcome the systemic and social factors which limit their access to fresh, healthy foods.

On August 18th, thanks to the newest installment in the Chicago Schweitzer Fellows Program’s “Leadership by Example” lecture series, featuring President and CEO of The Institute for Community Resource Development (ICRD) and community food security activist Ladonna Redmond, Chicago-area FFL will have the opportunity to learn even more about this critical nutritional issue as well as gain insight into some innovative, yet practical, solutions to the problem.

Through her work with ICRD, Ms. Redmond assists residents of urban communities in obtaining access to safe, healthy food through the development of alternative food systems. ICRD also works on other issues that relate to sustainability, which include encouraging the use of local land to grow food, assisting community residents to develop farmer’s markets, food buying clubs, and Co-ops that are linked with family owned organic produce and meat farms in the region.

Ms. Redmond has also presented locally, nationally, and internationally to food industry leaders, policy makers, and heads of state concerning community safety and food access.  Her work has earned her features in numerous local media outlets. Most notably, Ms. Redmond was the 2003 and 2006 recipient of the Chicago Tribune’s Good Food Award and was recognized in both TIME and Essence magazines as a “food innovator” and a “woman shaping the world.”

The August 18th event with Ms. Redmond will be held at Northwestern University’s Medical School, Hughes Auditorium, 303 E. Superior Street, at 6:00 pm. RSVP by e-mailing rsvp@hmprg.org or calling 312 372-4292 ext. 24.

Click here to download a flyer with more information on Ms. Redmond and the August 18th lecture.

Also, a reminder about an exciting giving opportunity for our Chicago program: an anonymous funder has awarded the program a 2-year matching grant — meaning that every new dollar the program receives will be matched up to $25,000!

Some rules and regulations apply — so our Chicago Program has created a special form to explain them. View the details here. (The Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program is administered by Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, a Chicago nonprofit that focuses on health care access of the working poor and uninsured.)