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The unchallenged champ of all things tofu, Jenny Yang has owned Phoenix Bean for 10 years of its 35-year operation. Glenwood Sunday Market has been fortunate to have Phoenix Bean as one of our vendors for several years. We had the good luck of being able to hear what drew Jenny into the business of tofu.

"....My kids and I love fresh tofu, soy milk and are lactose intolerant. I discovered a tofu company in my neighborhood one day and was intrigued by the chance to maintain the tradition of making a freshly made food that I grew up with in Taiwan.

I experienced a bit of midlife crisis and was tired of commuting and working for corporate businesses. I knew nothing about tofu making but decided to purchase Phoenix Bean and learn the business to preserve traditional tofu making methods. I learned through trial and error working with the tofu master who was retiring.

  

Providing a healthy product to our customers is our most important practice.  Our products are now made with the highest quality, IL grown, non-GMO soybeans we can source, to make an incredibly fresh tasting product high in nutrition. 

By using local soybeans, manufacturing locally, and selling fresh locally, we already have a low environmental impact.  To further minimize those impacts, our factory was renovated to use more energy efficient equipment such as tankless water heaters. We compost and reuse some of our soybean fiber (okara) as feed, fertilizer, and in food recipes.  We are always continuing to look for additional methods to improve our quality and help reduce our waste stream. For example, our soybeans are now organically grown on transitional lands.

Many customers are still surprised to learn that there is an Asian company making fresh tofu right here in Edgewater on Broadway.  They've never seen how fresh tofu is made, so we encourage them to come visit the factory to see how simple a food product it is."

Thank you Jenny and everyone at Phoenix Bean

Back in 2012, we had an idea. What if we could buy produce from our farmers and then give it away to food insecure families? We made a plan and amazingly, we got a grant! 

We decided to call the program Community Shares. Its mission is to increase the amount of locally grown, fresh produce consumed by Rogers Park's food insecure families. 

In the photo, you're seeing two of our new participants at our very first food distribution of the 2016 season! We gave away 60 pounds of fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and eggs to 10 families.

Community Shares has always been a collaborative effort. This year's partners include Glenwood Sunday Market, High Ridge YMCA, Howard Area Community Center, Jordan Community School, Sullivan High School, Healthy Rogers Park Community Network, Big Head Farm, Midnight Sun and The Urban Canopy.

We are fortunate to have continued to receive grant funding over these past five years. Currently, the program is funded by a generous grant from The Chicago Community Trust. 

We'll keep you posted about how the program unfolds this year in regular blog updates. If you want to learn more or volunteer to get involved email me!

 

 

Launched in 2010, Glenwood Sunday Market was founded with a commitment to making local, sustainably grown and produced foods available to our whole community. Working to serve our neighbors in need who may not know when they will have their next meal has been a cornerstone of the market and an inspiration to those of us who work to achieve food security for Rogers Park.  

 

As we approach the holiday season, we hope that you will consider making a charitable contribution to help us continue our important food access work.  You've probably seen that we're starting to talk about #GivingTuesday and that we're asking you to donate money to our efforts.  #GivingTuesday started as a way for people to remember make time to give to their favorite charities after the crush of holiday shopping mania exemplified by Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, #GivingTuesday is December 1, 2015.
 
This is the second year that Glenwood Sunday Market is partnering with the #GivingTuesday initiative. We ask that you donate to us and guarantee that your gift will make an immediate impact right here in Rogers Park.  All you have to do is make us your homegrown charity of choice and make a contribution by clicking on the "Donate" button on our homepage.

 

Did you know that:

 

$5 means we can add fruit to the Community Shares bags we give away to food insecure families during farmers market season.
 
$15 offsets the costs of getting the word out about GSM's Market for All programs.
 
$25 helps us provide a matching grant to shoppers who receive Link benefits (aka food stamps) and doubles their buying power each and every market...we gave away $12,200 last year!
 
$50 helps us provide fresh produce to a food insecure family for a month.
 
$100 means we can keep our vendor stall fees at an affordable rate for new farmers and food artisans.

 

Last year we raised $1,850 on #GivingTuesday and our goal for 2015 is to double that and raise $3,700. In addition to online appeals, we'll be having a party to celebrate the day at R Public House, 1508 W. Jarvis on Monday, December 1 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Please join us!

We hope you'll make a charitable contribution to Glenwood Sunday Market on #GivingTuesday... or even today.

Thank you!

 

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September 2, 2016