Creating a Solidarity Economy: Centro de Solidaridad Mi Villita

Chicago Prize
Delta Institute

This collaborative of environmental justice and community organizations will increase economic empowerment and food access in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood through a community hub and food-cart cooperative.

Last Updated: August 2023
Competition Participation
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Chicago Prize
Community and economic development
  • Illinois, United States of America
  • Illinois, United States of America
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • 1. No poverty
  • 2. Zero hunger
  • 3. Good health and well-being
  • 7. Affordable and clean energy
  • 8. Decent work and economic growth
  • 9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • 10. Reduced inequalities
  • 11. Sustainable cities and communities
  • 12. Responsible consumption and production
  • 13. Climate action
  • 16. Peace, justice and strong institutions
  • 17. Partnerships for the goals

Executive Summary

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) and Delta Institute will create a new community hub to provide Little Village and Southwest Chicago with food equity and economic development opportunities. They will transform a vacant, former firehouse at 2358 S. Whipple to 1) Offer 150 food-cart entrepreneurs professional-grade equipment to prepare food for sale; 2) Establish a worker-led cooperative to manage the kitchen that also will serve as a community kitchen in off-use hours; 3) Serve as the heart of a sustainable food network, with entrepreneurs purchasing organic produce from the LVEJO Urban Farm and sending produce waste to the planned LVEJO commercial composting site; 4) Establish an open-access venue for consistent programming for LVEJO and local advocates; and 5) Increase economic sustainability in the community and uplift residents' lives through an estimated $8 million in food cart revenues.

Organization Details
Lead Organization

Delta Institute

Organization Headquarters
Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
Organization ID
Number of Full-time Employees
10 to 25
Annual Operating Budget
$1.0 to 5 Million

Charity, fund, non-governmental organization, religious institution, school, or other entity

Organizations may provide budget and employee data based on this proposal or the organization as a whole. For more information on this proposal or organization, please email us.


To ensure ongoing transparency and inclusion, LVEJO and Delta Institute continued canvassing the community to hone, refine, and confirm our proposed project. Those efforts led in part to LVEJO undertaking an intensive, two-month strategic planning process in early 2021. Delta Institute is making similar efforts to ensure complete inclusion and authenticity in all projects and programming. We continue our outreach and engagement of potential funding partners while prioritizing our COVID-19 and racial equity responses (please see subsequent sections).

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