LaDonna Redmond is president and CEO of the Institute for Community Resource Development (ICRD), Chicago, Ill. The Institute’s mission is to rebuild the local food system. ICRD projects include: building grocery stores that bring access to sustainable products to urban communities of color, organizing farmers markets, converting vacant lots to urban farm sites and distributing local grown produce to restaurants.
A community activist and mother of a child with severe food allergies, Redmond began researching the food system in order to feed her son. Through her work, she discovered that people in urban communities want, but have limited access to, healthy food. This discovery led Redmond to get Chicago Public Schools to evaluate access to junk food in schools and create a task force to examine the potential of other pilot changes, such as connecting farmers to schools. Her discoveries also have led the Mayor of Chicago to consider urban agriculture as a good use of urban space."