Place Matters Cook County (IL)

Team Profile Summary

Food justice is the policy reform focus for the Cook County Place Matters team. Our vision of food justice is of a food system where “nobody gets the leftovers” and everyone has equitable, easy access to quality, affordable, nutritious and varied foods. At the core of the Cook County effort is a belief that in order to reverse the effects of structural racism and injustice, low income communities of color need the capacity to set their own priorities that improve overall quality of life.

Team Profile Details

Problem Statement

Cook County is the second most populous county in the United States after Los Angeles County.  With over 5.2 million residents, the county is primarily urban and very densely populated.  Inequity is a major challenge in the county, and it is seen across “every measurement of quality of life,” including economics, employment, health, transportation, housing, violence, access to healthy food, education and wealth. In light of these inequities, and in addition to food justice the teams have identified three major issues to highlight :

  • Helping the Fresh Food Financing Initiative in Illinois reach communities most in need of healthy food retail
  • Sealing criminal records to reduce barriers to employment; and
  • Amending the Cook County ordinance that presently allows landlords to deny renting to holders of Section 8 vouchers.

For more information and to become involved, please contact:

Team Lead: Jim Bloyd, MPH

Cook County Department of Health