Community Member

Gary Food Council Inc

Gary, Indiana

Gary Food Council, Inc., (GFC) was founded with the mission to deliver sustainable solutions and opportunities for healthy, local food access within Gary, IN. Through a city-wide alliance comprising a diverse group of public and private stakeholders, GFC collaboratively works to identify the benefits, challenges and opportunities for a successful city-wide food system. The group works to enhance the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of the city as it relates to food and agricultural systems. The group also advocates for and advises on food policy. In partnership with Purdue University’s Lake County Extension, GFC participates in the Junior Master Gardener Program, which offers a curriculum that covers a broad range of horticultural and environmental education topics for students. Children engage in novel, hands-on group and individual learning experiences that provide a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment, and cultivate the mind.

In conjunction with Brother’s Keeper and other sponsors, Gary Food Council works to cultivate the next generation of healthy food advocates. Photo: GFC social media.

According to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Gary was founded in 1906 by the United States Steel Corporation. The city’s economic fortunes rose quickly as industrial steel production increased throughout the first half of the 20th century, but in the last 40 years, the city has suffered the same economic distress that other upper Midwest rust belt communities have experienced. Industrial decline, private disinvestment and demographic changes have negatively impacted the local economy. According to the Northwest Indiana Food Council, nearly one-fourth of Gary is designated as a USDA food desert. Communities lacking access to affordable, healthy and fresh food options, often found in low-income black and brown neighborhoods, are described as food deserts. Headed by GFC Chair Damon Bazziel, who has a Master Gardener Certification from Purdue University Lake County, and with help from about 20 volunteers, GFC is taking on this and other food-related issues in Gary. 

Gary Food Council Chair Damon Bazziel talks about the Junior Master Gardener Program.
Dorothy Terry

Dorothy Terry

Dorothy Terry is a journalist by profession, having worked as a daily newspaper reporter on both coasts and a contributing writer for several national magazines. She is a former Congressional press secretary and has worked as a communications manager and consultant for corporations and nonprofits.


Alma Wilkes, Treasurer


Social Media

Climate Impacts

Air Pollution, Flooding

Environmental Justice Concerns

Fighting Development/Destruction of Wildlife/Extinction of Species, Groundwater Contamination, Hazardous/Toxic Sites, Incinerator/Dumping/Landfill


Art Activism, Community Farm/Gardens, Community Land Trusts/Land Conservation, Community Organizing and Education, Green Infrastructure, Legal/permit challenges to development, contamination, pollution, etc, Nature-Based Solutions, Policy Reform, Political activism, including protests, petitions, and lobbying

501c3 Tax Deductible


Accepting Donations