ChiMeals is a collective of worker cooperatives born out of the communities they serve. Our Black and Latinx worker-owners understand the challenges of food insecurity because they’ve lived through it. The meals we provide are fresh, nutritious, and culturally appropriate. However, treating the hunger crisis is much more than just providing meals to the hungry. In order to bring about real, long term change, we need to build food sovereignty.
SO HOW DO WE DO THAT?
One of the most important aspects of ChiMeals is that all our companies are worker owned. We create quality jobs and business ownership opportunities for the individuals making and delivering the meals. Our worker cooperatives pay above-market wages, provide benefits, and all workers are eligible to become co-owners of the business. The goal is to use our business to lift up the individuals in our community and build generational wealth.
Building food sovereignty in South and West Chicago is a massive endeavor; ChiMeals can’t do it alone. We’ve partnered with other food collectives and community outreach programs in the area to develop a network of organizations dedicated to creating a healthy and self-sustaining Chicago.
Meet the Co-ops
The companies of ChiMeals are worker cooperatives, meaning each business is owned and managed by its workers. Our companies give marginalized workers opportunities they would struggle to find elsewhere. The goal is to manage profitable and sustainable businesses that allow workers to reap the benefits of their hard work.
A catering business that specializes in Mexican fare, Cooperativa Visionarias is supported by Centro de Trabajadores Unidos: United Workers’ Center, a community organization that advocates for the rights of all immigrant and non-immigrant workers and supports the incubation of worker cooperatives Chicago’s Southeast side and South Suburbs of Chicago.
ChiFresh Kitchen is a Black women owned food service contractor based in Greater Grand Crossing. We partner with Chicagoland farms to prepare and provide meals for student programs, senior centers, and other places of need.
What is Food Sovereignty?
Food Sovereignty is the idea that people groups have the right to produce, maintain, and consume their own food and agriculture systems. Food sovereignty encourages a self-sustaining and self-sufficient community that . The food that is prepared is nutritionally and culturally appropriate because the system is designed by and for the people.