We CU Community Partner Spotlight: Sola Gratia Farm

3/22/2023 2:09:01 PM Raphael Portillo

We CU and the School of Social Work’s Community Learning Lab partner with approximately one hundred community organizations each year. In the Community-Partner Spotlight, a partner answers three questions about their organization’s mission and community impact.    

Our latest spotlight is on Sola Gratia Farm. Started by St. Matthew Lutheran Church and Faith in Place in 2012, this urban vegetable farm was established with the overall goal of building a regional food system where high-quality,locally-grown produce is available to everyone, especially those at an economic disadvantage. The farm also promotes healthy lifestyles and community building through volunteering and service, special events, and outreach and education programs.

Volunteers, including We CU Scholars, may work in the field (like planting, weeding, and harvesting) or in crop processing (like washing, sorting, and packaging vegetables). Volunteers can also work with Sola Gratia Farm’s CSA (or community-supported agriculture) distributions, Plant Sales, or summer day camps.

Connect with Sola Gratia on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

In this spotlight, Fiona Munro (she/her), who serves as Sola Gratia’s Outreach and Education Coordinator, discusses the importance of accessible food systems and advises students to get involved in some of the vital work occurring in our community.

What does a positive community impact look like in this organization?

For us, a positive community impact means breaking down barriers to fresh, healthy food access among our neighbors. Often, that means growing high-quality, organic produce and working with partners to get it into people's hands, but it also means supporting community gardens, advocating for food systems change, and creating opportunities for agriculture and nutrition education.

What advice do you have for the University of Illinois students who are interested in getting involved in the community? 

Don't be afraid of trying something new! There are many folks in Champaign‐Urbana doing vital work to build a better community for all. All of us working together is what makes change possible. Every opportunity is a potentially life‐changing one! 

What inspires you about our community?

We are inspired by the people in our community and how innovative and dedicated they are to create change. Our neighbors are our greatest assets in doing the work we do. We are always hearing new, unique, good ideas for how to achieve our community goals.