Milwaukee is home to more than177 community gardens

69% of Milwaukeeans do not consume the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables

85% of Milwaukee is zoned for urban agriculture

Milwaukee's Food Systems

In Milwaukee, the lack of healthy food access is a deep and systemic local concern. For this Plan, we define the Milwaukee community food system as being the growing, aggregating, processing, distributing, access and consumption, and waste/resource recovery of food, primarily in the Southeast Wisconsin region.

The push to improve our local food systems has already started. In May 2007, an ad hoc group of community members, professionals, and government officials who were concerned about the food system began to meet on a regular basis, adopting the name of "Milwaukee Food Council" (MFC). Now, they are collaborating and sharing ideas with the goal of making the regional food system ecologically sustainable, economically vibrant, and socially just.

In addition, Mayor Barrett announced the HOME GR/OWN initiative in 2012 – a plan to increase healthy food consumption (demand) and access to healthy food (supply) by using City-owned vacant properties in targeted neighborhoods, while catalyzing system-wide improvements in the local food supply chain (see Catalytic Projects Chapter). Moving towards a more sustainable community food system in Milwaukee can benefit all people and neighborhoods where healthy food access is a concern, contributing to the overall vision of a sustainable, resilient Milwaukee.

Rooftop production garden sits atop the Clock Shadow Building in Walker's Point. Photo: Juli Kaufman


The Victory Garden Initiative is helping hundreds of gardens pop up around Milwaukee. Photo Victory Garden Initiative