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Kellogg announces $32 million in food grants

By Jane Black | The Washington Post

Today, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is announcing $32.5 million in funding for nine community projects that aim to transform local food systems.

The projects include a program that brings mobile fruit stands to low-income areas of New York and an inventory of unused urban land in Boston to help expand urban farming. The money, distributed over three years, brings the Kellogg Foundation’s support for food and farming projects since the mid-1990s to nearly $80 million.

“This is a national moment where people are beginning to recognize the relationship with food and health,” said Gail Christopher, the foundation’s vice president for programs. “A lot of foundations are weighing in on obesity. We are looking at the larger system and what it means for people, especially children, to take control of their food and develop the power and capacity to make decisions about what they want to eat.”

The Kellogg grants fund a wide range of community programs. But the foundation’s focus is on children and what has shaped up as the food cause of the year: school lunch reform.

Among the grantees is the National Farm to School Network, which aims to bring fresh, locally grown produce to schools so they can offer more healthful breakfasts and lunches. Since 2007, the group has enabled nearly 5,000 schools in 42 states to begin farm-to-school programs. School Food Focus, which also will receive money, works with large, urban school districts that have large numbers of students who rely on school meals but may not have easy access to local, fresh food.

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