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Thursday, 19 October 2017 20:05

PCC Austin Farm Season Wrapping Up

farm-stand-fall-produce - CopyCHICAGO, Ill. –There is still time to shop for local produce at the PCC Austin Farm Stand. The PCC Austin Farm will continue to offer fresh vegetables, harvested locally until Tuesday, October 31. Visitors can choose among a variety of seasonal items, including spinach, cabbage, sweet potatoes, kale, mustard, and collard greens.

The farm stand will be open Tuesday, October 24 and Tuesday, October 31 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., as well as this Saturday, October 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Located at 330 N. Lotus Avenue in Chicago, the stand accepts various payment methods, including cash, credit/debit, LINK, Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program vouchers and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) farmers' market coupons. Double value incentives are available for LINK and WIC purchases.

"It's been an awesome season and we've hosted the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the Austin Food Co–op, doing info sessions for our customers and visitors. The season isn't over yet and we still hope to see many new customers," said Lucy Flores, Community Outreach and Health Education Manager at PCC.

To help Austin residents increase their fruit and vegetable intake, the farm stand offers healthy recipes that use ingredients from the farm. In addition, free children's books are available for customers and visitors. The farm is situated across from PCC Austin Family Health Center, which provides primary care and integrated behavioral health and oral health care, among other services.

For more information about the PCC Austin Farm, or opportunities to volunteer, contact Lucy Flores at 773-413-1240 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Published in Press Releases

tote bagCHICAGO, Ill. – April 6, 2016 – PCC Community Wellness Center’s (PCC) community farm, the PCC Austin Farm invites 14 to 18 year-old students who attend high school or live in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood to participate in a contest to redesign the farm’s reusable tote bag. The student with the winning design will receive a $700 scholarship. Students with second and third place entries will each receive a $350 scholarship.

All entries must include the name “PCC Austin Farm” and designs should focus on imagery of things grown on the farm such as flowers, herbs, and vegetables. Students should consider including community or neighborhood elements such as the green line, street signs, or other Austin neighborhood elements.

Computer – aided drawings will be accepted. However, the pictures used must belong to the student, not any other source. Entries must be on unlined, white paper and may use any medium such as: oil, acrylic, watercolor, tempera, gouache, ink, pastel, crayon, or colored pencil. Artwork drawn using #2 lead pencils as the primary medium will not be accepted. All entries should be 9” (width) by 11” (height), and must be mounted on cardstock or cardboard with adhesive spray, rubber cement, or tape.

All participants must submit their entries by Monday, April 25, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. to PCC Austin Family Health Center, Attn: Lucy Flores, 5425 W. Lake Street, Chicago, IL 60644.Winners will be notified May 30, 2016 and the winning designs will be revealed to the public on June 7, 2016 at the PCC Austin Farm Stand kickoff at 5:00 p.m.

Download a full contest packet and application form here.

For more information contact Lucy Flores at 773-413-1240 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Published in Press Releases
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 19:07

Fresh from the PCC Austin Community Farm

OAK PARK, Ill. – May 27, 2015 – PCC Austin Produce Market’s fifth season begins on Tuesday, June 2 with a new twist: organically grown produce grown on-site by PCC Community Wellness Center (PCC). Instead of simply telling patients to eat well, the community health center is providing easy access to produce within the Austin community. Produce grown on the farm will be harvested and sold at the market. First harvest picks will include mustard and collard greens, kale, radishes, lettuce, and scallions.

This summer, the market will be held every Tuesday from June 2 to October 27, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. as well as the second Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Selling produce to nearby distributors and food service organizations will contribute to self-sufficiency. “We have already sold spinach to a local distributor,” said Robert J. Urso, PCC President and CEO. “This is a great first step to having a sustainable urban farm."

A Windy City Harvest participant harvests the first spinach crop at PCC Austin Community Farm.

By cultivating a farm, PCC hopes to help meet Austin and neighboring communities' need for produce and to help alleviate health issues, such as obesity, that thrive in food deserts (urban neighborhood that lacks adequate access to affordable, healthy food).

The PCC Austin Community Farm, located at 330 N. Lotus Avenue in Chicago, was established in partnership with Chicago Botanic Garden’s Windy City Harvest program. Experts in urban agriculture, Windy City Harvest staff built the farm and will maintain the site for the first three years of operations. During that time, PCC will recruit community members who are interested in participating in Windy City Harvest’s certificate program in hopes of finding a permanent, local farm coordinator. Through this endeavor, PCC will engage community members in volunteer opportunities as well as farming and nutrition workshops. Funding for the project was awarded by the Humana Foundation in 2014.

For more information about the PCC Austin Produce Market or opportunities to participate on the farm, contact Lucy Flores at 773-413-1240.

Published in Press Releases

CHICAGO, Ill. – Oct. 30, 2014 – Yesterday PCC Community Wellness Center (PCC) held a groundbreaking ceremony for its latest project to improve health outcomes—the PCC Austin Community Farm.

Partner organizations and elected officials break ground at the PCC Austin Community Farm .

Located in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood in an 8,000-square-foot lot across the street from PCC Austin Family Health Center, the farm was made possible by a $350,000 grant from the Humana Foundation. PCC is partnering with the Chicago Botanic Garden, which will provide participants from its urban agricultural program, Windy City Harvest, to install and maintain the farm.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, representatives from Chicago Botanic Garden, Humana and PCC shared with more than 75 attendees the importance of urban agriculture and establishing a community farm which will promote physical activity and healthy eating.

“PCC is building this farm so that our patients will have the opportunity to make the types of healthy choices we recommend in the exam room," said Robert J. Urso, PCC president and CEO. “Through this endeavor, we have an opportunity to transform not just patients, but a whole neighborhood through ongoing exposure to urban agriculture and the provision of essential resources.”

Bechara Choucair, M.D., commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, who spoke at the event, stressed that such healthy choices are important in the reduction of overweight and obesity, particularly among children.

William Snyder, market vice president for Illinois, presented on behalf of Humana, which chose PCC as the Humana Communities Benefit grant recipient because of the program’s uniqueness, sustainability and potential to create long term benefits for health outcomes.

Also participating in the event were: United States Congressman Danny K. Davis; Chicago Botanic Garden President and CEO Sophia Shaw; Alderman Jason C. Ervin, 28th Ward; and Alderman Emma Mitts, 37th Ward.

Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, which lacks adequate access to affordable and healthy food, has been designated by the U. S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration as a medically underserved area. Nearly 53 percent of its 98,500 residents live at or below the federal poverty level. The PCC Austin Community Farm responds to these issues by providing residents with fresh, affordable produce and allowing eight families each year to plant food in their own personal plots.

The PCC Austin Community Farm also will include an education component focusing on nutrition, physical activity, and gardening techniques. PCC and Windy City Harvest will lead these monthly training sessions to promote health and well-being.

In addition, PCC will identify two individuals to enroll in the Windy City Harvest Apprenticeship program. The apprenticeships will prepare the students to compete for the farm’s seasonal coordinator position.

PCC encourages anyone interested in learning more about the farm or related volunteer opportunities to contact Lucy Flores, community outreach health education manager, at 708-524-7685 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Published in Press Releases
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