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Nutrition, housing and economic security taking center stage

The White House recently held its first conference on hunger and nutrition in 50 years and featured WKKF grantees including National Farm to School Network, Fair Food Network and FoodCorps. In conjunction with the event, FoodCorps announced a new $250 million initiative called Nourishing Futures to ensure that all 50 million U.S. students learn about food and have access to nourishing free school meals by 2030. The initiative was highlighted by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack as a key approach to addressing nutrition, hunger and health.

Children and families in Jackson, Mississippi, are still without access to safe running water. Our partner Springboard to Opportunities is offering additional support, providing $150 a month for at least six months to approximately 700 low-income families to help offset the additional costs incurred during the crisis, such as purchasing bottled water. 

How are philanthropies tackling narrative change? And is it working? A new report from the Convergence Partnership, a funder collaborative that includes the Kellogg Foundation, explores these questions and provides a framework for approaching narrative change strategies through three avenues: mass culture, mass media and mass movements. Inside Philanthropy highlights the report and current efforts while emphasizing the powerful potential of shaping public narratives and values. 

Battle Creek Public Schools and the City of Battle Creek, Mich., both WKKF grantees, have created an innovative solution to the district’s teacher recruitment and retention challenges. A new expansion to the housing incentive program will cover up to $20,000 in rent and housing costs for teachers living in a larger geographic area in the city. As of December 2021, more than 60 teachers had enrolled in the housing incentive program that launched in 2018 and offered up to $10,000 in rent and housing costs within a smaller area of the city.
One way to improve economic security is making more money available to people. That’s the premise of 100 communities that are piloting guaranteed income programs to help reduce poverty and improve stability for families. Led by WKKF grantee the Economic Security Project, the effort was highlighted in The New York Times and underscores the potential impact of measures like an expanded Child Tax Credit. “This idea breaks with 50 years of safety net policymaking that made rules more strict, made the system more complicated, and meant fewer people could access it,” said Natalie Foster, co-founder and co-chair of the Economic Security Project. “We’re reversing those trends and saying, ‘No, there should be a guaranteed income that sits alongside wages in America.’”

WKKF grantee the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology is creating a new education pathway in its Adult Career Training Program to help adults receive the training they need to pursue high-wage careers in the tech industry. The program seeks to support people in the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population – who are working but still struggling to make ends meet – access pathways to high-quality, good-paying jobs. 

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s US-based offices will be closed on Monday, Oct. 10 in honor of the U.S. holiday, Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

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