Chicago and the Food Chain 

About the Project

In Sustenance: Chicago and the Food Chain, photographer Amanda Rivkin documents the realities of food access in Chicago through the eyes of children at home, school, and in their communities. The exhibit is framed by discussions of where Chicago sits in the world of global agriculture and the ways in which innovative programs around the city are working to expand children’s relationships with nutrition and the complex economics of food production.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and recent inflation has led to increased food insecurity and poverty across the country, including throughout the Chicago area. The impact of these two crises have disproportionately impacted communities of color and households that have one or more members with a disability. Local food banks, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and others are working to provide food and nutrition education to those in need.  As food insecurity and rising costs continue to impact individuals and families in Chicago and around the world, it is so important to support community organizations working to provide food, resources, and other assistance to those who need it. Additionally, bringing attention to this global issue of food access can spark conversation about systemic inequities, ethical food production and more.

about the artists

Amanda Rivkin is an American photojournalist.

Public Programs

October 2016

Springfield Area Arts Council and Illinois Stewardship Alliance

March 14, 2016

American Corner, Trieste, Italy

March 11, 2016 

American Corner, Trieste, Italy

In partnership with Ambassador Philip T. Reeker, US Consul General Milan and Michael Hrzic of the Chicago Maxwell Street Garden Community Association.

March 7, 2016

American Corner, Trieste, Italy

In partnership with the City of Trieste, Department of Urban Planning, Public Works, and Public Greenery.

March 1, 2016

American Corner, Trieste, Italy

August 27, 2015

Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci

In partnership with the U.S. Consulate General in Milan and GCM Grosvenor.

January 14, 2015

625 N. Kingsbury St. Chicago IL

Panel discussion

In December 2017, a two-part Sustenance: Chicago and the Food Chain panel discussion was held as part of AWP’s 625 at 6:25 program, which is a series of free exhibitions, community conversations, panel discussions, film screenings, concerts, and more. Members of the panel included:

  • Wes King, Illinois Stewardship Alliance
  • Steven McCullough, Greater Chicago Food Depository
  • Kymm Mutch, RDN, Consulting Dietitian
  • Jason Weedon, Gourmet Gorilla
  • Moderated by Kerri McClimen, Consultant 

625 at 625: Sustenance discussion

bring this exhibit to you

All of our exhibitions are designed to tour and can be adapted to a broad spectrum of venue types and sizes.

We are happy to provide step-by-step support for hosting this exhibit.

Contact us to learn more about bringing this exhibit to your community.

Milan installation of Sustenance

support for this project


Sustenance is produced in partnership with the Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living, City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, Fresh Taste, Galapagos Charter School, Goose Island Clybourn, Gourmet Gorilla, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Growing Home, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, IMAN, The Kitchen Community, Pilot Light Chefs, The Signature Room at the 95th, Windy City Harvest.


Sustenance is generously supported in part by:

  • Friedman Law Group
  • Frost Lighting
  • Gourmet Gorilla
  • Printlab
  • Sawyer Agency
  • Urban Innovations