Ropes & Gray Attorneys and Staff Participate in Chicago FarmWorks Community Service Day
On July 24, a Ropes & Gray volunteer team made up of roughly 25 lawyers, including summers, and non-lawyers, contributed farm-labor in support of Heartland Alliance’s Chicago FarmWorks program. The group traveled to FarmWork’s urban farm in Chicago’s East Garfield Park to weed, mulch and trellis in service of the organization, which supports the homeless and impoverished in the Chicago community.
“Heartland Alliance would like to thank Ropes & Gray for their help at Chicago FarmWorks on the hot afternoon of July 24th. Ropes & Gray pitched in with weeding our farm beds and trellising our tomatoes. Weeding is of critical importance on farms, especially those that follow ecological farming techniques like Chicago FarmWorks, and improves our harvests by letting our crops get enough sun and nutrients. Trellising tomatoes will help keep our tomatoes disease-free and away from pests. Ropes & Gray’s work will help us grow 30,000 servings of vegetables this season,” said Community Resources Coordinator Cherrell Jackson of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights.
FarmWorks, a 2.6 acre urban farm developed by Heartland Human Care Services in partnership with the City of Chicago, NeighborSpace, and the Greater Chicago Food Depository, provides food and employment assistance for the needy. In the first season-and-a-half of operation, FarmWorks has produced over 16,000 servings of vegetables to stock the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Additionally, the program has generated transitional jobs for 60 individuals with barriers to employment that include histories of incarceration or homelessness. The employment program’s track record is stellar, with more than 90% of transitional job participants transitioning to full-time permanent positions in 2013. Ropes & Gray also partners with Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center, which provides human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, by providing direct legal services pro bono.