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Growing Community in Chicago

This second blog in our ongoing series with HelloGiggles, Women Working To Do Good, features a young woman that started her own urban homestead in Chicago.

A few months after President Obama entered office, First Lady Michelle Obama broke ground on the first White House Kitchen Garden as part of a broader initiative to promote a healthier and more active way of life. Among the crops planted are spinach, broccoli, lettuces, kale and collard greens, and assorted herbs. Each season, the First Lady brings together people from all over DC, to celebrate the harvest and enjoy the tasty fruits and veggies grown at the White House. The harvest is a great event that helps people better understand the food they eat and the community that grows it. 

Jill Zenoff

Jill Zenoff. (Photo from HelloGiggles)

This week I’m very excited to bring you the next blog in our ongoing series with HelloGiggles, which features a young woman that started her own urban homestead in Chicago. Jill Zenoff talks about her experience with The Gan Project, and how her vision for a sustainable urban garden to bring people closer to the food they eat and to each other has, quite literally, changed the landscape of the neighborhood she loves.

In the profile the author writes, “The woman commands respect naturally. She is self-assured, focused, and knows her stuff. She humbly told me that the JCC was generous and open in giving her the land to work, but really, it was the strength of her vision and the strength of her belief in it that made it happen. More importantly, she wanted more than just a few veggies in the ground, building around the question, “how do you feed a community in the most dignified manner?”

You can read all about Jill and the Gan Project here. Be sure to check back next week for the next edition of “Women Working to Do Good” and read other blogs featured on

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Ronnie Cho is an Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.