The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has announced a $3 million commitment to food enterprises that reach low-income communities in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, and New Orleans.
Announced in conjunction with the Building a Healthier Future Summit in Washington, D.C., the funds will be used to provide capital for the production, processing, and distribution of fresh food to lower-income communities. To be made available through Kellogg's mission-driven investment work, in partnership with NCB Capital Impact, the two-year loans will be awarded to retailers and food enterprises that provide small and midsize producers with the infrastructure — including processing, manufacturing, and distribution — to bring their products to local markets.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 23.5 million Americans live in so-called food deserts — neighborhoods lacking convenient access to fresh, healthy foods.
"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 Kellogg Foundation president and CEO Sterling Speirn. "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."