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W.K. Kellogg Foundation commits $3 million in fresh food financing for local food enterprises

Rebecca Noricks, 269.719.6323, rebecca.noricks@wkkf.org

WASHINGTON – The W.K. Kellogg Foundation today announced a $3 million commitment to provide capital for financing retail, production, processing and distribution of fresh food to reach lower-income communities in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans. The capital will be made available through the foundation’s mission-driven investment work in partnership with NCB Capital Impact (Capital Impact) of Arlington, Va., a Community Development Financial Institution.

“We’re pleased to announce this commitment that will expand ‘fresh food financing’ from its strong start in the retail sector into the value chain,” said Sterling Speirn, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation. Speaking at the Partnership for a Healthier America’s (PHA) “Building a Healthier Future Summit” in Washington, he said, “Increasing access to good food that is locally sourced wherever possible is important to the health and well-being of all children, especially vulnerable children and families where access to such foods is more difficult. This financing arrangement increases the opportunity to achieve that goal by connecting local food producers to consumers more easily.”

Loans will be made to retailers and food enterprises that provide small and mid-sized producers with infrastructure – including processing, manufacturing and distribution operations – that help bring their products to local markets. Loans will be made available for a period of two years beginning in 2011.

“This investment will help us reach thousands of low and moderate income families by improving access to healthy foods, which is critical to reducing chronic diseases and building healthier communities,” said Scott Sporte, chief lending officer of Capital Impact.

The “Building a Healthier Future Summit,” taking place Nov. 29 to 30, 2011, is PHA’s inaugural conference focused on childhood obesity. PHA works with its honorary chair First Lady Michelle Obama and the private sector to end the childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that more than 23.5 million Americans live in low-income areas that lack access to fresh, healthy foods within a mile of their home. “Fresh food financing” commitments have been part of the Partnership’s efforts to build and expand retail food stores in areas with less access to healthy food (food deserts).

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Based in Battle Creek, Mich., WKKF engages with communities in priority places (Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans), nationally and internationally to create conditions that propel vulnerable children to realize their full potential in school, work and life. To learn more, visit www.wkkf.org or follow WKKF on twitter at @wk_kellogg_fdn. To learn more about WKKF’s mission-driven investing portfolio and efforts, visit http://mdi.wkkf.org.

The Kellogg Foundation is also a founding member of the Partnership for a Healthier America, a nonprofit organization created in conjunction with – but independent from – Let’s Move! to work with the private sector on addressing the childhood obesity crisis.

About NCB Capital Impact
NCB Capital Impact helps people and communities reach their highest potential at every stage of life. As a national, nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution, Capital Impact provides financial services and technical assistance to help make high-quality health care, healthy foods, housing and education more accessible and attainable, and eldercare more dignified and respectful. Capital Impact has used its depth of experience, cooperative approach and diverse network of alliances to generate over $1.6 billion in critical investments that create a high quality of life for low income people and communities. To learn more, visit www.ncbcapitalimpact.org.

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