You can help connect more local food advocates and lawmakers

Our Harvest Auction closes tonight at 8pm! It features 80 amazing items like this two-night stay at the rustic Goose Island Cabin on the Rock River, near Dixon, donated by Alliance Board member Tim Magner and Tim Benedict of Orion Organics.

You can help connect more folks like Tim, with a story to share, to lawmakers who need to hear that story.

Several years ago, in an effort to connect more kids with nature, Tim wrote children’s books and then visited schools to lead programs like outdoor exploration and writing workshops.

At times during these school visits, school administrators would offer to cater lunch for him, rather than have him eat cafeteria food. That’s when Tim realized that something was fundamentally broken with the school lunch system.

Tim eventually founded an overnight summer farm camp to immerse kids in what’s possible, i.e. awesome food as the de facto choice.
At the same time, he realized policy was the missing link and the lever to improve kids’ health and rebuild rural economies.

Tim said, “I was drawn to the Illinois Stewardship Alliance and their mission of building power to create a food and farm economy that works for both farmers and eaters.”

Tim worked with Alliance to arrange a meeting with Senator Pacione Zayas during the Alliance’s Virtual Food and Farm Lobby Day. He asked for her support on legislation that would help change the ways schools, prisons, veterans homes, and public institutions purchase food.

Tim, top right, met with Senator Pacione-Zayas bottom right during the Alliance’s Local Food and Farm Lobby Day to share his story and ask for support on legislation that will improve school lunch and support local farms and businesses.

Tim laid out the important role the state can play in changing their food procurement policy to prioritize sourcing from local, fair, healthy, humane, and sustainable farms and businesses in Illinois and not just the lowest bid.
Our annual Lobby Day is how we connect members and supporters directly to their lawmakers to discuss issues that matter to their community and begin shifting policy to build the health and wealth of Illinois.

Lawmakers tell us they appreciate the opportunity to hear directly from their constituents during Lobby Day.

Senator Pacione-Zayas voted in favor of the legislation, and so did many other lawmakers who heard from Alliance members. The legislation passed! Now state agency leaders are forming a task force to assess Illinois procurement policy and make recommendations for change.
You can help connect more advocates like Tim, with a story to share to policymakers that need to hear it by making a bid on great items in our Harvest Auction.

We recommend the two-night weekday stay at a secluded nature-lover’s cabin 100 miles west of Chicago, one of Tim Magner’s favorite spots. This little eco-retreat dream house is your perfect secluded pandemic getaway. The package also includes a tour of the bison roaming at nearby Nachusa Grasslands and a box of garlic and honey from Farmer Tim Benedict.
To start bidding, simply create a free account with Handbid. You won’t be charged unless you win.

Your bid helps build collective power to bring farmers and eaters together, shift policy, and create a more just and regenerative food and farm system.

P.S. Our limited edition Illinois Stewardship Alliance T-Shirts are also available for purchase during the Harvest Auction only! Order the Red Rooster T-Shirt or Blue Wild Garden T-Shirt and we’ll ship it to your door!

Thank you to our sponsors

Thank you to our Host Committee

Angie Mizeur • Piero Taico • Lindsay Record • Shari O’Donnell • Ben Hankins Andy Heck • Lindsay Keeney • Emily Wright • Julie Roland • Crystal Kern • Melissa Schwoerer Nancy Weichert • Dick Lyons • Tori Londrigan • Jamie Minnaert