BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – Bringing locally grown, farm-fresh foods into school lunchrooms in California; marketing the fruits and vegetables of black farmers in Illinois to an inner city neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side; and helping small-scale hog farmers in North Carolina compete — these are just a few of the projects undertaken by grantees of a new W.K. Kellogg Foundation funding program, the Food Systems Higher Education-Community Partnership.
There are eight grantees in the initial group:Community Food Resource Center (NY), Iowa State University, Loyola University (Chicago), North Carolina State University, Occidental College, Shorebank Enterprises, Inc. (Astoria, Ore.), the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland (Mt. Vernon, Washington).
The Food Systems Higher Education-Community program is designed to help universities and colleges work with nonprofit, government, community-based, and private sector partners on critical food systems issues with local relevance.The Foundation is especially interested in funding innovative models of institutional engagement.The Foundation will invest $3.5 million in this program over four years.
The new program is part of Kellogg’s Food and Society Initiative. Launched by the Foundation in 2001, the Initiative is inspired by a vision of a future food system that provides all Americans with safe and nutritious foods grown in a manner that protects the environment, promotes health, and brings economic development to both rural and urban communities.The program is intended to last for five to six years, with a total of $50 million being distributed over that period.
“This new Food Systems Higher Education-Community program is designed to harness the expertise, knowledge, and research coming from that nation’s universities, and put new ideas from higher education to work in local communities,” said Rick Foster, vice president of programs of the Kellogg Foundation.“Through this approach, we hope to create model programs that can be duplicated around the country, with the end of bringing wholesome, nutritious food to communities everywhere.”
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 “to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations.” Its programming activities center around the common vision of a world in which each person has a sense of worth; accepts responsibility for self, family, community, and societal well-being; and has the capacity to be productive, and to help create nurturing families, responsive institutions, and healthy communities.
To achieve the greatest impact, the Foundation targets its grants toward specific areas. These include: health; food systems and rural development; youth and education; and philanthropy and volunteerism. Within these areas, attention is given to the cross-cutting themes of leadership; information and communication technology; capitalizing on diversity; and social and economic community development. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.
For more information, visit the FAS Web site at www.foodandsociety.org.